In the “Pale Blue Dot” photo why is earth “suspended in a sun beam”?



the way I imagine it the sun is emitting light from all angles at all times. Why did the photo have streaks of light? I assume this is because of the camera but it has multiple pilers of light so I am confused. maybe because the sun doesn’t emit the same amount of light from each area depending on flares? I am tagging this physics but if people think that this is more engineering I’ll change it.

In: Physics

You’re way overthinking this. It’s just a lens flare from the camera. The sun doesn’t emit “streaks” or “lines” of light like that. The sun emits the same amount of light in all directions. It’s purely a mechanical artifact of the camera, it has nothing to do with the sun.

It’s glare from the sun. That image is only part of a larger image. The beams from the glare are much more apparent when you view the entire image.

The streams are from light being bounced around in the camera and parts of the space craft. There was less than degree of separation between the Earth and the Sun, and the Sun is really bright, so the camera ends up picking up light that is scattering off different parts of the camera and external features of the spacecraft.
The fact that Earth ended up in a streak is just luck.

>Why did the photo have streaks of light?

Because lens flare happens sometimes, and can be unavoidable when you involve extremely bright light sources, which the Sun certainly qualifies as.

As others have mentioned, it is just a lens flare.

It is likely there were several pictures to chose from, and that one was chosen because the flare makes it more striking.

He knows too much. But in all honestly idk and would also care to know previous response was removed so here are some fun facts. The great heat death of the universe is when all atoms, that will eventually decay, have decayed. And this ends the entire universe as we know it.

Now heres another fun fact! Magnetars, even though they are huge as moons or even Earths, can spin 600-700 a second. This is the equivalent of a kitchen blender speed!