Half Moon and Half Earth
The view from Voyager when Jimmy Carter was President and John Lennon was making music
Long before Photoshop was invented there was a way of producing images like this.
Magritte: La Reproduction Interdite
It involved sending a spacecraft with a camera a long way into space. As NASA explains:
This image of the Earth and moon in a single frame, the first of its kind ever taken by a spacecraft, was recorded on Sept. 18, 1977, by Voyager 1 when it was 7.25 million miles from Earth. The spacecraft launched on July 20, 1975.
Voyager 1 is now outside the solar system and heading inexorably away – the most distant man-made artifact in the universe.
It carries a plaque with some very basic information about human beings and our earth, in case it’s ever encountered by intelligent life elsewhere.
If that ever happens, presumably it’ll be far in the future.
Voyager 1: in 2011 we put more powerful computers in dish-washers
Will human beings have made a terminal hash of our global habitat by then?
If so, this little object may be just about the only remaining testimony to the existence, at one time, of half-intelligent life on planet earth.
I hope we do better, but maybe the cosmos is set up with this built-in constraint?
If an aspiring intelligent species can’t make a go of one very nice planet, it may be just as well if it’s ability to screw up the wider universe is limited to littering with a few tokens of space junk.