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 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."
- Photos from NASA's Voyager 1 and 2 Probes
- Confirmed: Voyager 1 in Interstellar Space
- Voyager 1 Spacecraft's Road to Interstellar Space: A Photo Timeline