Pale Blue Dot

Posted by Arkham on January 17th, 2007

That’s our beloved Earth, seen from 4 billion miles away, photographed by Voyager 1 on June 6, 1990. Click here to know more.


Carl Sagan, Astronomer, wrote about it:

“We succeeded in taking that picture from deep space, and if you look at it, you see a 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.”

It makes you think, doesn’t it?

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 17th, 2007 at 00:57 and is filed under thoughts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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One Response to “Pale Blue Dot”

  1. dark Says:

    Of course it does, a lot.
    Every one of us has a self-centered view of the universe and therefore thinks that has the right to act, think and speak freely… without thinking about the other human/animal/lifeless beings. Is this right (in a philosophical way)? I don’t know and sometimes I don’t care. In a practical way, I do not agree with those that act in this manner, exactly because the life is one, as our Earth, and therefore is not right (again, in a practical way) to ruin other people’s lives. Not at all.
    Or does this article mean that everything is vain and our continuous wandering and struggle for life is useless? Everyone can give his interpretation, right? ;)
    Quoting Manzoni (I mean, Alessandro, not that pseudoartist -name not given on purpose- that shares his surname… well, neither Alessandro was one, IMO, but for simplicity’s sake…): “ai posteri l’ardua sentenza”. In other words, the future will judge us.