If you’re older than 20 years old, we were once in a photo together. It was on February 14, 1990 when the Voyager 1 spacecraft was about 6 billion kilometers away from its starting point at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It turned around and took a single photo of the Earth (left). Even from this far away our tiny planet still looks cerulean blue due to its oceans and atmosphere. We’re all there. Living on the surface of a dot.
Carl Sagan, easily the most inpsiring science writer that has ever lived, captures the significance of this photo best in his book Pale Blue Dot which was named after this photo. A few years ago, someone excised this passage from the audiobook of Pale Blue Dot and laid it over a collection of photos of the Earth. It gave me chills despite the fact that the music and some of the images were a little cheezy. Recently, another version has surfaced but the accompanying music is Sigur Ros (probably the best band to listen to when reading Sagan) and the images are more pertinent.
There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world.
Have a look. Let me know what you think.