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On This Day in Space! Sept. 18, 1977: Voyager 1 Takes 1st Photo of Earth-Moon System

On Sept. 18, 1977, NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft took its first photo of Earth and the moon. It was the first time both the Earth and the moon were captured in a single frame. 

At the time, Voyager 1 was 7.25 million miles (11.7 million kilometers) away from Earth. It launched about two weeks earlier on a mission to explore the outer planets.

Voyager 1 snapped this picture from a distance of 7.25 million miles (11.7 million kilometers) from Earth, on Sept. 18, 1977. It was the first to include both the Earth and the Moon in a single frame taken by a spacecraft.

(Image credit: NASA)

Voyager 1 passed through the asteroid belt and visited Jupiter and Saturn. Then it took a sharp turn and started heading straight out of the plane of the solar system. 

Before Voyager 1 started heading toward interstellar space, Carl Sagan convinced NASA to turn its cameras around one last time to take a family portrait of all the planets in the solar system. This family portrait shows Earth as a tiny speck in a ray of sunshine. It is now famously known as the "Pale Blue Dot."

The famous Pale Blue Dot picture. 

(Image credit: NASA/JPL)

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Email Hanneke Weitering at hweitering@space.com or follow her @hannekescience. Follow us @Spacedotcom and on Facebook

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