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AstroAlert: NASA remasters the ‘Pale Blue Dot” photo of Earth

Hi everyone,
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Tomorrow marks the 30th anniversary of the iconic “Pale Blue Dot” photo of Earth. To commemorate it, NASA has remastered the photo using state-of-the-art image processing techniques. That tiny speck in the image above is our planet.
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The original photo was taken on February 14, 1990 as the Voyager 1 spacecraft sped past Neptune and turned its camera back towards Earth for one last look. It has become one of the best known and most evocative images of human exploration of space.
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The photo was suggested by the great Carl Sagan, who summarized its impact very poetically:
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Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every ‘superstar,’every ‘supreme leader,’ every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there — on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
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If you’d like to know more about this photo and how it was created you’ll find additional information here:
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As the Pale Blue Dot photograph reminds us, astronomy’s greatest contribution to humanity may be the cosmic perspective that it provides, a sense of our place in the universe that is both humbling and majestic.
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Best regards,

Michael
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Dr. Michael West is Lowell Observatory’s Deputy Director for Science. Follow his AstroAlerts to receive breaking news stories from the world of astronomy, odd bits of astronomical lore, and information about upcoming astronomical events. You can reach him at mwest@lowell.edu or follow him on Twitter @curatedcosmos.
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