We Are Here: The Pale Blue Dot

This has been around for awhile, but its message is more relevant now than ever. The Pale Blue Dot is a photograph of the planet Earth taken in 1990 by Voyager 1 from a record distance of 6.4 billion kilometers – a distance that is at once incomprehensible, yet insignificant by cosmic standards. The idea for photographing the Earth against the vastness of space came from the incomparable Carl Sagan – perhaps the most eloquently articulate science communicator of our time. Sagan met resistance for arranging the photograph but was ultimately successful, and he later (1994) wrote a book by the same name in which he provides a humbling description of our planet, our place, and our future. Sagan’s haunting yet inspiring narration in the 6-min video below provides appropriate perspective in this time of change and renewed optimism for tackling the significant global challenges that confront us. Credit goes to Andy Holroyd, Yorkshire, U.K., author of Trousers To Grow Into (a marvelous blend of “science, music and stuff”) for reminding me about this timeless video.

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