Pin It!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Blue Dot - Our Mote in a Sunbeam

These images are not mine. I see them in many places on this wide wide web. Too many to try to credit any one individual, so to whomever it was that posted these the first time, probably some Science Magazine, thank you very much.

To Carl Sagan, whose words are below the pictures, I can only say: You are missed, loved and remembered every time I look up into the vast, immense, unending sky. Gratitude, from deep in my soul.

Pale Blue Dot
Earth as seen by Voyager 1 
from the edge of our solar system 
more than twenty years ago
Voyager was approximately 3,762,136,324 miles from home. 

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.


  1. Hi Sweetie! That far away shot of our planet is really fascinating, although I do feel more comfortable looking at closer up shots of Earth. This makes you realize just how vulnerable we are sitting out there like that...just a spec of dust in the realm of the universe...but a beautiful, wonderful spec of dust at that! xo

  2. World leaders and politicians and despots should be shown this photograph and then perhaps things might fall into perspective for them. Amazing photo and thought-provoking words.