Thursday, September 18, 2014

Thursday in History: Stealthy Photos from 7.25 Million Miles Away

On this day in history in 1977, NASA space probe Voyager 1 snapped the first photograph of the earth and the moon together.
Prior to this photo, there had been pictures taken of the earth from space and pictures taken of the moon from space. People wondered if they were maybe the same planet, since no one ever saw them together, until about 1966 when the moon was taking a selfie and the earth swooped in for the photobomb.
August 1966 "selfie" of the moon (actually taken from lunar orbit)
Nobody ever got them to sit still for the same photograph until Voyager 1 was on its way to chill with Jupiter and happened to look back and see the earth and the moon sitting close together enough to photograph.
Voyager 1's September 18, 1977 photo of the earth & moon together
(via Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum)
We can assume that after it was taken, the planetary bodies darted away from each other, covering their faces, like junior highers who weren’t ready for their visages to be recorded on film.

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