thousand word thursday | earth day edition

this is a photograph of planet earth taken in 1990 by voyager 1 from a record distance, showing it against the vastness of space. by request of carl sagan, NASA commanded the voyager 1 spacecraft, having completed its primary mission and now leaving the solar system, to turn its camera around and to take a photograph of earth, the pale blue dot.

From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of particular interest. But for us, it’s different. Consider again 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.

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.

(carl sagan)


1 Comment

http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/earthday/earthday_gallery.html

Posted by Colin on 22 April 2010 @ 6pm

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