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Skyline - Houston, Texas

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Pale Blue Dot

[Mulvaney's photo below emphasizes how small our home world is in the galaxy's environs. So tiny and fragile. WA]

Pale Blue Dot

From Discovery.com
April 22, 2009
Kieran Mulvaney

It is one of the most powerful images I have ever seen. And yet, at first glance, it shows nothing.

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But you see that narrow band of light on the right? Follow it a little more than halfway down, and you'll notice a tiny little dot. It isn't a smudge on the monitor. Go ahead, scratch it just to be sure. It isn't something on the camera lens. It isn't an insect, or a microbe, or a fleck of dust.

[WA: Look carefully. It is tiny and dim, hard to see.]

It's us.

It's all of us.

Everyone, everything, that we know to have ever lived, has lived its life on that tiny speck.

That dot - that pale blue dot - is Earth, photographed in 1990 by Voyager 1, at a distance of more than 3.7 billion miles.

The idea of taking the image came from the late Carl Sagan, who suggested that the spacecraft turn around and photograph the place whence it came, on its way out of the solar system.

I first saw the picture several years ago, when I picked up a copy of Sagan's book Pale Blue Dot, which features the image as its frontispiece, and discusses its provenance and significance in the first chapter.

In that chapter, Sagan wrote:

"The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena ...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."

Words to remember, I think. And live by. And not just today. Every day. - Kieran Mulvaney

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

[Remember -- especially now as we, collectively, busily do our best to destroy it. Remember, and now do our best to try to save it. WA]


COMMENTS:

Blogger Kvatch said...

Dot looks yellow to me. Must be all the smog. [sigh]

Thursday, May 14, 2009 6:24:00 PM

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Blogger Worried American said...

Maybe so, Kvatch. Our atmosphere blocks a great deal of our vision into outer space, and the level of smog no doubt blocks even more. But smog doesn't extend that many billions of miles into space. So maybe that little pixel got fogged up as it homed in on earth. :-)Darn that smog!

Glad to have you drop by, our multicolored frog.

Thursday, May 14, 2009 8:25:00 PM

Delete
Blogger The Future Was Yesterday said...

I often think of all the fighting going on; in Families, between individuals; between States; wars around the globe and I think to myself; "one day, all of us that are fighting will be part of the earth we're now fighting on."

Saturday, May 16, 2009 1:24:00 AM

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Blogger Worried American said...

Dan'l, As we near extinction, perhaps some people will realize that all the fighting was stupid and unnecessary. The energies and resources would have been employed much better in protecting and conserving our planetary home and all its life forms.

Some people are so arrogant that they think the human race is too important or superior to become extinct. We can, and probably as a result of our own wrongdoing. We, too, can meet a fate of "ashes to ashes, dust to dust" and in some far future archaeologists of the then dominant species will dig up our fossilized bones and wonder about us. Will they write papers about us as the "greedy, selfish, intelligent dumbasses"?

Saturday, May 16, 2009 2:13:00 AM


Labels:

4 Comments:

  • At Thursday, May 14, 2009 6:24:00 PM , Blogger Kvatch said...

    Dot looks yellow to me. Must be all the smog. [sigh]

     
  • At Thursday, May 14, 2009 8:25:00 PM , Blogger Worried American said...

    Maybe so, Kvatch. Our atmosphere blocks a great deal of our vision into outer space, and the level of smog no doubt blocks even more. But smog doesn't extend that many billions of miles into space. So maybe that little pixel got fogged up as it homed in on earth. :-)Darn that smog!

    Glad to have you drop by, our multicolored frog.

     
  • At Saturday, May 16, 2009 1:24:00 AM , Blogger The Future Was Yesterday said...

    I often think of all the fighting going on; in Families, between individuals; between States; wars around the globe and I think to myself; "one day, all of us that are fighting will be part of the earth we're now fighting on."

     
  • At Saturday, May 16, 2009 2:13:00 AM , Blogger Worried American said...

    Dan'l, As we near extinction, perhaps some people will realize that all the fighting was stupid and unnecessary. The energies and resources would have been employed much better in protecting and conserving our planetary home and all its life forms.

    Some people are so arrogant that they think the human race is too important or superior to become extinct. We can, and probably as a result of our own wrongdoing. We, too, can meet a fate of "ashes to ashes, dust to dust" and in some far future archaeologists of the then dominant species will dig up our fossilized bones and wonder about us. Will they write papers about us as the "greedy, selfish, intelligent dumbasses"?

     

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