Letters: Onward, Voyager

Re “Ready for a real star trek,” Sept. 8

Thank you for your article on Voyager 1’s imminent departure from our solar system.

While Jet Propulsion Laboratory scientists are now focused on the spacecraft’s passage into interstellar space, the greatest legacy of the Voyager 1 and 2 missions is the stunning images they have captured — of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, the Jovian moon Io’s erupting volcanoes, Saturn’s rings, Uranus and Neptune. Perhaps the most remarkable image was Voyager 1’s 1990 “family portrait” mosaic of our solar system seen from afar, with Earth a lonely “pale blue dot” huddling with Venus near the sun — a mere “mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam,” as Carl Sagan wrote.

Twenty-two years later, it’s time for one of the Voyagers to look back again and take a final, unified image of our solar family.


Stephen A. Silver

San Francisco


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