Voyager: 12 images that define NASA's longest-lasting mission

45 years and counting.

Originally Published: 
Its’ been almost 45 years since NASA launched its Voyager mission.

The two probes sent to survey the Solar System in 1977 have now traveled further than any human-made object ever sent to explore to universe.

Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

VW Pics/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

The probes are currently drifting through interstellar space over 12 billion miles from our home planet.

For comparison, the Sun is roughly 3.7 billion miles from Pluto.

Over the past few years, NASA scientists have reduced power to many of the probes’ nonessential instruments in an effort to extend the mission’s unprecedented span through the decade, according to reporting by Scientific American.


The probes’ days of photographing the Solar System ended in 1990.

But their stunning captures left a lasting mark on science and the popular imagination that will remain even when the mission inevitably ends.


Here are 12 incredible images captured by the Voyager probes:

12. This candy-hued Saturn was captured in false color by Voyager 2 in 1981.

11. In contrast, here are Saturn’s true colors.


10. From millions of miles above Saturn’s rings, Voyager 2 captured this image of their stunning display in false color.


9. An ominous portrait of Uranus was the final image that Voyager 2 took before moving to capture images of Neptune.



8. The probe imaged Neptune’s dark spot, contrasted here by whitish clouds.

7. This is the first detailed image of Neptune’s rings ever taken, captured by Voyager 2.


6. Here’s the chilly planet captured in false color.

5. Voyager 2 also flew by Neptune’s moon, Triton. Here you can see its southern hemisphere.


4. Voyager 2 snapped this image of Jupiter a month before its closest encounter with the planet. On the right is the moon Io, and the shadow of Ganymede can be seen on the left.


3. This time lapse captures Voyager 1’s approach of the Gas Giant.


2. And here are the stunning textures of Jupiter’s atmosphere, including the Great Red Spot, captured by Voyager 1.


Pale blue dot image

1. Voyager 1’s final masterpiece was a portrait of the entire Solar System. The famous Pale Blue Dot image was just one slice of it.

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