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Tuesday
Mar012011

Pale Blue Dot

It’s the twentieth anniversary of the famous “pale blue dot” photo – Earth as seen from Voyager 1 while on the edge of our solar system (approximately 3,762,136,324 miles from home). Sagan’s words are always worth remembering:

Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every ‘superstar,’ every ‘supreme leader,’ every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there — on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.

Source: http://blog.jmlynch.org/2010/02/13/pale-blue-dot/

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Reader Comments (19)

And to think that that doesnt even begin to put it in perspective as to where we actually sit in the universe... The infinitely large and the infinitely small...

Taxi

May 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

Lol I am a spec.... on a dot...that puts life into perspective!

May 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

Allah is perfect

May 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterOmar

I see lots of room where we can store humanity's excess stupidity and ignorance.

May 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBrt

must see for all political/defence ppl all around the world..why at all do we need armies??

May 30, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermust see

Allah has nothing to do with it.......Mother Nature did it....The Cosmic world is full of life......Not Jewish, Christian....or that other one....the late comer

June 1, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermikey

Those images were perfect actually first time I saw the I had Buy Viagra and I couldn't believe what I was seeing, then I saw the images in the t.v news and I realize I wasn't confuse.

June 29, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterrogelio

my god these are some beautiful words!

July 30, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersaki

That does set things in perspective. Impressive how a single dot in a huge ocean means so much. Utterly humbling.

October 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNavitas

Thanks for the great information. It's very helpful for me. I can't express my views, how many important it is for me.

November 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDiet Pills

This is very lovely post. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post with us.

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRobotic Automation

Allah is perfect.... Bhag bhosdikey

January 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVinda

The earth is very small but very big at the same time, since it contains most, if not all of the life in the cosmos.

June 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRodger Uche

When I was young, I always wanted to go into space, I guess that's why sci-fi is my favourite genre of movies.

June 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBill Diamonds

Earth is like the centre of the universe for me, and most other people, primarily because there doesn't appear to be much of anything else out there.

April 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBafta

God is great!!! Not allah... The "latecomer" or false prophet or "what-Ev-ER".. First there was God, who designed the universe
and that little blue dot.. Then came the "others" ... False gods.. False religions... Copycats is a better word..

May 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDewey

Why only earth is blue dot and all other stars and planet have similar colours of line????

June 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMaxxy

Oh look. Another pale blue dot post. How original. We should totally click on your ads now, right?

July 31, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterme

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