Pale blue dot, 0.12 pixels

For many years now, this noisy, small and 'ugly' photograph has been my favorite. It is called 'Pale Blue Dot', in the original language 'Pale Blue Dot'.

'Pale blue dot' ('Pale Blue Dot')

'Pale Blue Dot'. Source code. I have this photo printed on canvas 30 x 45 cm. This is the most distant image of our planet ever received by man.

The photo was taken in February 1990 by the Voyager 1 spacecraft. To create a photo of the Earth and other planets, 60 images with a resolution of 640.000 pixels each were used, the photo was created using three monochromatic filters. These images were transmitted to Earth for three whole months, each pixel reached Earth in five and a half hours. The picture was taken from a distance of about 6 billion kilometers. Our planet occupies only '0.12 pixels' in the image, you can discuss this number in the comments.

This photograph asks a lot of deep questions. I've been going back to Pale Blue Dot for years. An ordinary person will see in this photo only noise and rainbow stripes, in turn, I am always amazed at how much this picture stands above everything that I have shot in my life, above everything that many other photographers shoot. It is ironic that the technical execution of this picture does not affect its value and 'beauty' in any way.

Unfortunately, I find it difficult to find words that could fully express the emotions, feelings and thoughts that this 'pale blue dot' evokes. The best thing about Pale Blue Dot was written by Carl Sagan in his a book 'Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space', a quote in Russian can be found here.

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval. Please, if this material was useful to you, help my project. And don't forget that everyone can write your review for one or another photographic equipment.

Add a comment:

 

 

Comments: 101, on the topic: Pale blue dot, 0.12 pixels

  • anonym

    A photo should be taken only in the context of its author:
    Take another look at this point. It's here. This is our house. This is us. Everyone you love, everyone you know, everything you ever heard of, all people who ever existed lived their lives on it. A lot of our pleasures and sufferings, thousands of self-confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and gatherer, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every couple in love, every mother and every father, every capable child, inventor and traveler, every ethics teacher, every lying politician, every “superstar”, every “greatest leader”, every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived here - on a speck suspended in the sunbeam.

    Earth is a very small scene in a vast space arena. Think of the rivers of blood shed by all these generals and emperors, so that, in the light of glory and triumph, they can become short-term masters of a piece of sand. Think of the endless cruelties committed by the inhabitants of one corner of this point over the barely distinguishable inhabitants of another corner. About how often disagreements between them, how they crave to kill each other, how hot their hatred is.

    Our posturing, our imaginary significance, the illusion of our privileged status in the universe - they all pass in front of this point of pale light. Our planet is just a lone speck of dust in the surrounding cosmic darkness. In this grandiose void, there is not a hint that someone will come to our aid in order to save us from ourselves.

    Earth is the only known world that can support life. We have nowhere else to go - at least in the near future. To visit - yes. Settle - not yet. Whether you like it or not - Earth is now our home.

    Astronomy is said to instill modesty and reinforce character. There is probably no better demonstration of stupid human arrogance than this detached picture of our tiny world. It seems to me that she emphasizes our responsibility, our duty to be kinder to each other, to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot - our only home.

    • anonym

      Bravo!

  • Onotole

    The composition is so-so, there is no plot from the word at all. The technical part also suffers, there is a whole set, if someone is not blind and does not see: the already mentioned noises, the horizon is littered, micro-lubrication from cotton, a small front-back, of course (then there simply were no mirrorless cameras, now I would not channel such a trick with them) well and of course skinton sucks. I would recommend that the afftor at least wear a polarik next time - you see, it would not be Pale Blue Dot, but just Blue Dot.

    • Onotole

      In short, another demonstration of the work of the photographic equipment (in this case, the rig on which the camera was attached), the work of the PHOTOGRAPHER is not visible. A real PHOTOGRAPHER would shoot on the D40 with a half-dead Helios would shoot 100 times better and more interesting.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      it was thick :)

      • Onotole

        Checked out, by the way, which hares? Do you think normally-illuminated optics should behave this way?

      • Onotole

        It is from which side to look - at first glance, yes, it is thick, so it barely crawls into the screen. On the other hand, if we integrate the essence of comments on the same Radozhiv, and on this basis determine the vector of “wishes” of an average static photographer, his aspirations, then it turns out very subtly. So subtly that not everyone will understand without explanation; and many will not understand even after explanations.

        • Arkady Shapoval

          often they’ve just read about many things, but they can’t see certain nuances in real photos

    • anonym

      I disagree about the square. Simple and obvious PR chain reaction by Jewish "experts" of a Jewish artist. Such a social experiment is like raising an unknowable masterpiece out of nothing with PR.

  • anonym

    I propose the Radozhiv photo blog to launch a kite with signatures of my favorite readers into low Earth orbit.

    • Onotole

      Well at least not a container with commentators fingers))

  • Paul

    Here in this picture are many small pale blue dots:https://im0-tub-ru.yandex.net/i?id=dc7089c8c0eb7df7c92ec31928ed8797-l&n=13
    Each point is a galaxy.
    Continue?

    • Onotole

      We don’t know anything about those galaxies, therefore it is much less epic.

      • Arkady Shapoval

        Exactly

    • Arkady Shapoval

      There are a lot of nuances here, you probably won't be able to continue. There are hundreds, thousands and millions of space images from Earth. Images of the Earth from space from such a distance when the Earth is less than a pixel on a telephoto lens ...

      • NEO

        here 0.12 percent of readers will understand what the picture is about, the rest will only suffer garbage in the comments, which is already happening. Sagan is a great man, and his picture is epoch-making and not for the average mind of fotosadrots, it's a pity.

        • Arkady Shapoval

          I agree, but do not regret it, there are many other sins that you can deal with if you have free time

        • Paul

          I wonder if you enter those happy 0,12%?

          • Paul

            Arkady, this is not for you))

        • anonym

          But did you at least not offend yourself with such a nickname?

  • Displeased

    If the blue dot is earth, then why are there no other planets? Venus, Mars, the rest of the guys. If the spacecraft is so far away that the earth is a pixel, then it is logical that other planets should get into the frame.
    I believe that this is just a broken pixel, and all this hype because of a photo with a damaged matrix

    • Vitaly N

      The above planets are smaller and darker than Earth. But where is the sun itself? Most likely it is displayed in the photo, not the Earth. Although the photo may be taken at night ...

      • Onotole

        And here the conspiracy theories pulled themselves together.
        Well then, firstly, this picture was obviously taken at night (everything is black) and the sun is not visible.

        • B. R. P.

          Onotole today in shock)

      • anonym

        The earth is flat, and this is Photoshop

      • Novel

        In fact, Venus has the highest albedo of all the planets of the solar system. And her size is almost identical to the earth.

      • Bravo !!! 🤗

        The photo was taken at night…. I haven't read that in a while ... 😁 🤗 🤗

        • Vitaly N

          Brezhnev calls cosmonauts to his Kremlin and says:
          - “The Americans sent their lads to the moon. The Soviet Union should not
          lag behind; because you, comrade Soviet cosmonauts, fly to
          The sun."
          - "Leonid Ilyich, it's so hot there, we'll burn ..."
          - “Do you think we are here in the Central Committee, complete idiots ?! Fly at night! ”

    • Onotole

      Yeah, but no one flew into space, because in the thermosphere at 2000 degrees, everyone had to fry ....

      The average distance to Venus is +/- 100 million km. No, that's 100000000 km, the diameter of our ball is about 13000 km. Knowing that the size of the image of the earth is 0.12 pixels, (taking the deviation angles as negligible, so as not to bother with trigonometry), we leave the proportion and we get that 923 pixels to the left, right, up and down from the pale blue point with a probability of 50% will not be any another planet. (and the size of the source is something like 450 * 650 pixels)

      • Vitaly N

        Bliiin, what the hell did you do that? Let them think about the night ...

    • anonym

      Hush, hush ... They explained everything to you! Do not resist, take it on faith ... Or what, do you want to be one of the fotografi?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Here are other planets link. But even if it were just a broken pixel, there is no limit to the delight when books are devoted to this pixel, music albums and years of years are spent on analysis. By the way, if you get very confused, then in this picture you can see (more precisely, work with filters) and the moon.

      • Onotole

        The moon should be no further than 3-4 pixels.

        • Onotole

          And with dimensions of ~ 0,03 pixels. Fans of viewing pictures at 400% magnification and with a 12x magnifier will probably be able to find it.

    • Peter Sh.

      There he has video cameras, not matrices with photodiodes. So there can be no broken pixels in principle.

      Another question is how the whole thing painlessly flew the Earth’s radiation belt. Yes, and then dangled for decades in our solar system, feeling the full range of hard radiation from solar activity. There is such a level of energy that the thickness of the armor no longer matters.

      But this is not important, of course this does not apply to this cult photo.

  • scif

    my nikon d300 produces the same frame, only with a blue bright dot and a little elsewhere

    • anonym

      That's just no one knows your photos and does not give them their own names, and 300tka is as old as light

      • First Substation

        but not as old as my two hundred. What does this have to do with the topic?
        On the topic I’ll say the following: I wonder when the next camera will fly up, and what kind of picture will be with the then technologies

  • NEO

    According to the commentators, it is clear that they are as far from beautiful as the Voyager from the Earth :)

    • anonym

      It should be clarified that rainbow arcs are glare from the sun. It seems that planet Earth is very close to it from such a distance. Mercury could not be removed due to this proximity.
      We are just dust, and all attempts by anonymous authors here to show off their full photoimpotence are not worth even the letters in this comment

      • anonym

        Priceless. Oh-oh-oh-oh ... SAGAN ...!

      • Rodion

        +1

    • Arkady Shapoval

      To each his own and this is normal

  • Denis

    and here we come close to understanding that there are never too many megapixels

  • anonym

    In addition to our Mother Earth, from a distance of 6 billion km, there are thousands and thousands of stars at a distance of millions of light years emitting light, not reflecting it ... ... Where are they? .. A beautiful fairy tale, in short….

    • anonym

      Why are you like this, here everyone admired with a smart look. (shorter marketing drives)

      • Arkady Shapoval

        By the way, a broken pixel would be on all the other 60 photos from the same series. But Anonymous is always right, you can not argue with that :)

        • Dim

          Non-disconnectable camera sharping?

        • Dim

          “To create a photograph of the Earth and other planets, 60 images were used with a resolution of 640.000 pixels each, the photo was created using three monochromatic filters.” Maybe I missed something: to be specific, let's assume that there really was a broken pixel or a speck of dust on the matrix. The static camera takes 60 photos, all of them have this artifact, we overlay all 60 photos. And we ask the question: Why should the artifact itself disappear as a result of the superposition, if it is in all these photographs?

          • Arkady Shapoval

            Because 60 images were used not only for our Earth. And secondly - there is a vidicon, not a matrix

      • anonym

        Well, marketing loves to ride the ears of fragile minds.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      By the way, this is a classic question why stars are not visible in many space images. This is a simple question that many cannot cope with, although it is a classic photographic question that deals with the basics of exposure. It comes to the point that many seriously believe that “filmmakers” forget to finish drawing them when their fake films and photographs about space that does not exist are released. Peace, Kit, Turtle!

      • Rodion

        This is also a classic test for the level of education of a person.

        • anonym

          Like the test for FAC.

        • Dim

          Damn, could enlighten.
          It would be a plus for karma. I don't seem to complain about my education and even saw many photographs with a starry sky. On Earth, there is a “problem” with the atmosphere and pollution that scatter / reflect the light of stars, but in space there shouldn't be such a problem, plus, as everyone says, there was a big bang and the stars should, at least on one side, shine so densely from the center of the galaxy ...
          Okay, don't explain - there must be some mystery.

          • Novel

            And what to educate? Significant objects are usually lit by the Sun. The astronauts there on the moon or the station in orbit. The intensity of solar radiation is several orders of magnitude higher than the intensity of radiation from stars. Therefore, if the target is not a starry sky, the minimum shutter speed is used for the correct exposure of significant objects. Otherwise, you would have a starry sky and a flare astronaut. There is no twilight and a golden hour in space - there is no atmosphere, everything is very contrasting.

    • Iskander

      Here is a snapshot of Io from the same device. Where are the stars, Anonymous? https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e3/Vulcanic_Explosion_on_Io.jpg

  • anonym

    I do not believe the Americans! Maybe they kicked the money out on a new, bigger matrix.
    How did you calculate that 0.12? Well ... almost ten times smaller than a pixel.

    • Onotole

      You yourself can try to remove something less (albeit at least 10 times) of the pixel. For example, an LED indicator of a device. from a distance sufficient to cover a frame 100 meters wide (medium-sized house). With an LED size of ~ 2-3 mm and a frame size of ~ 4000 pixels in length, there will be 1/10 of the pixel. With sufficient brightness and a completely disabled noise reduction, everything should work out.

  • Eugene

    Already knowing about Kubrick's "flights" of Pindos to the Moon, it is now hard to believe the "pale blue point" from a distance of 6 billion km the first time.

  • Onotole

    By the way, no one wants to guess (not read, namely guess) the focal length from which this photo was taken? )

    • anonym

      Probably the most wide-angle for space, maybe 100 mm.

    • Peter Sh.

      Exactly, they were removed to the shirik and are knocked out. They would have shot it on a TV set, two whole pixels would have come out, or even three.

    • Onotole

      They write that 1,5 meters of focal length

      • Vitaly N

        And what is the size of the matrix? Without it, the viewing angle cannot be determined. Considering the brightness of objects in space, surely not small. Although it can be calculated from the same angular size of the Earth at a known shooting distance ...

      • Novel

        Two cameras. Narrow-angle (1500 / f8.5-T12) and Wide-angle (200 / f3.5-T4). The size of the vidicon active area for both cameras is 11.14mm x 11.14mm, the image size is 800x800 pixels. The crop factor is approximately 2.8 compared to 36x24mm. It turns out in the equivalent of somewhere 560mm - "wide angle" and 4200mm - telephoto camera. Telescopes, in fact.

  • Andey Oh

    Arkady joins you - yes, this is the most meaningful picture of all that was. Thanks!

  • Sergei

    Now the American station New horizons is located approximately at a comparable distance from Earth, but has much more advanced photo equipment.
    It would be interesting to compare pictures from both….

    • Peter Sh.

      And they will not send. Because in fact, he himself took this picture of the house, with the lid closed.
      And in open space, photographic equipment does not last long - protons from cosmic radiation burn everything.
      Vot.

    • anonym

      Will not work. New horizons are flying in the plane of our system, and Voyager 1 was deployed and it moved perpendicular to the plane. Photo as if from above.

      • Arkady Shapoval

        Not perpendicular, but at an angle of 32 degrees

        • anonym

          Well type of that. I did not look for Old, so from memory.

  • anonym

    Why put the photo?

    • anonym

      And how to determine whether it is lying or standing?

      • Onotole

        Usually it is worth determining whether or not it is lying.
        In very difficult cases, feeling should help.

  • Iskander

    This device is one of the first attempts to create a galactic social network - a gold plate with data about our planet and a collection of music and sounds of the Earth are fixed on the body of the device. So, we already wrote in a personal, now we are waiting for a like)))

    • Vitaly N

      Nibiru?

    • anonym

      If the record is 7:40 then no one will answer us.

      • Vitaly N

        Who knows. Maybe a hundred ships will crash down to drink tea for 2-3 years ...

  • Passer

    Come on! And where are the other planets and the starry background, even if it was shot with a 1.5-meter telephoto from such a distance?

    • Vitaly N

      Yes, it seems like the above has already been answered. There are no planets because of the small viewing angle, or they were not nearby at all. Stars are not visible due to exposure - left outside the dynamic range.

      • Passer

        From a distance of 6 mora billion kilometers, even if the lens barrel is not one and a half meters and a half kilometers, the angle of view is enough for the entire solar system to fit into the frame. I can’t believe it, everything is too simple.

        • Passer

          Although for space 6 billion km is nothing at all, but the figure is impressive by our standards.

        • Michael

          It does not fit, it all seems to you

  • Passer

    Landing on the moon is one way, there is no station there! How do they start back, well, if only from the orbit on the rope ladder they go down and rise back, I understand that.

    • Valery A.

      Where did you get this from? The force of gravity is 6 times less, there is no atmosphere, everyone who is familiar with astronautics easily explains the problem-free launch of a lunar rocket "light". Three Soviet unmanned stations took soil samples on the moon and flew back.

      • Arkady Shapoval

        In Kubrick’s films, you can still clearly see various combined shootings, artificial techniques, although they are very good for their time. Yesterday I saw a very funny video that turned out to be a parody of robots from Boston Dynamics, rate.

  • anonym

    “… No, son. It's fantastic!"

  • prime_k

    Hello, Arkady, and the whole respected public!
    I can not resist writing a comment.
    Try to evaluate this photo outside the context of the depicted space and distance from planet Earth. What is it? If none of you knew where this photo came from, how it was taken, the thought “and the king is naked” would have come to you! (Hot pixel in a noisy digital image) Don't look for deep meaning where there is none.
    To cherish the opportunity to fly so far from Earth and take a technical photo? Honor and praise to the developers, designers of space technology. But this picture has little to do with the art of photography.
    Therefore, Arkady, I think your pictures and pictures of other people are much more valuable than this. In the context of aesthetics, photographic art, the transfer of photographic experience.

    PS Malevich painted not only a black square. He had a whole exposition. Either the media, or public thinking caught only a square, and so it started. And there are many such examples, where it is necessary to think, we judge indiscriminately, where there is no sense, we are looking for depth.

    • Onotole

      “This picture has little to do with the art of photography” - justify this statement.
      If someone did not know such a name as Cartier-Bresson and they would show him several of his pictures (or a series from the coronation for example), then definitely this someone would say that some newcomer was given a camera, without really explaining anything and he was filming instead of reporting about event of some worthless nonsense. And the director of the reporters' agency would probably even have kicked him out, because he would have thought that this had absolutely nothing to do with photography in the genre of reporting ...

      • prime_k

        One said the rest love to echo.

        • Onotole

          So can you clarify or not? Or you are also from the category “one said”. If so, then there are no questions.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Your entire comment is placed on this pale blue dot, without any options.

      • prime_k

        Of course. A beautiful story stuck to a photograph. Understood by many. No more.

        • Ivan

          Thank you for your opinion, you are not alone;) The story with the black square came to my mind the same. What can I do if I want to at times compensate for the lack of taste with something like, say, similar .. Yes, and it's so hard to say that the king is naked.

  • Victor

    This picture makes me think about this more. This point is our planet. Such a small dot in endless space. But in the picture we do not see any stars or other planets. All that endless cosmic blackness in this picture is a small part of our galaxy - the Milky Way, in which there are billions of other stars and planets. And the Milky Way itself is exactly the same point on the scale of the Universe, where there are still billions of galaxies, each of which has billions of planets.
    On the one hand, a snapshot of our planet from such a huge distance looks impressive, but if you think about it, on a galactic scale this is just a “selfie” from an outstretched hand.

  • Lavter

    It turns out that each image was sent within 1,5 days, and information about each pixel was sent in 0,2 seconds. The information sent from Voyager to the Earth flew for 6 hours, while the light from the Sun reaches the Earth in just 8 minutes.

  • Lavter

    I wanted to thank Arkady for all the publications.

    I study everything very carefully. Your vast experience tells a lot. I go here to the site to rest.

    Even this, honestly, that in my entire life I have not been able to shoot anything like this pale blue dot - a healing confession.

    Picking up the camera again, I shoot if an impulse comes. It turns out that I'm filming my condition. And by the way, I don’t quite understand why exactly I wanted to shoot this object, is it different from others? In principle, it turns out well.

    We understand the meaning of the pale blue dot. But if we understand the meaning of everything that we see on Earth, it is incredible, we see an impossible, every second miracle, like this point. Maybe that's where the momentum comes from.

Add a comment

Copyright © Radojuva.com. Blog author - Photographer in Kiev Arkady Shapoval. 2009-2023

English-version of this article https://radojuva.com/en/2019/06/pale-blue-dot/

Version en español de este artículo https://radojuva.com/es/2019/06/pale-blue-dot/