Thursday, February 15, 1990

Voyager 1 Annoys The Planets One Last Time

The notorious interplanetary paparazzo Voyager 1, which has been antagonizing the outer solar system since its launch in September 1977, has been commanded by NASA managers to snap one last series of unauthorized candids of our poor solar system.

Capitulating to the demands of legendary planet-botherer Carl Sagan, NASA ordered the space probe to turn sunward and take a series of sixty photos of the Sun and planets, from a distance of some 4 billion miles. The patently offensive resulting photo not only captures the sun and gas giants unawarely, but portrays our Earth - the most important planet in the world - as a mere pale blue dot:

The gas giants Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune - no doubt caught off-guard and in some sort of embarrassing pose by the long-distance Voyager voyeurism - have yet to communicate their protestations through the astrologers, but I do not doubt these messages will be received soon. Hopefully not accompanied by a rogue comet, as has been their preferred method of making their feelings known since a young patent clerk named Galileo Galilei first turned his telescopes skyward and literally used them to draw the most salacious scribblings of the planet and its moons ever scribbled.

While I don't expect this latest affront to planetary privacy will be met with the kind of vitriol that caused the 1908 Tunguska incident, we would be well-advised to keep looking up, just in case.