Thursday, November 04, 2010

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 planet earth.
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


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 by us 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.

C Sagan

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

...and all men can do is send thermo-nuclear-waist, garbage, debris... into this universe... mighty good idea ;-)