General · Media · Photo

Our ‘Pale Blue Dot’ – a meditation

The daily grind. Global threats. Political chaos. The coronavirus

Perhaps a calming meditation? Our shared place in the cosmos, our ‘Pale Blue Dot’ – a tiny blue speck shining in space.

30 years ago, Carl Sagan requested the Voyager 1 spacecraft take one last picture of Earth. This is the legacy of the Pale Blue Dot. Join us in our search for life in the Universe.
Notes > “‘Pale Blue Dot’ shines anew in Carl Sagan Institute video to mark iconic photo’s 30th anniversary” by Chelsea Gohd (February 19, 2020).

Thirty years ago, the Voyager 1 spacecraft was traveling far out into the cosmos when it turned around and snapped one of the most iconic images of all time — the “Pale Blue Dot,” an image of Earth, a tiny blue speck shining brilliantly in a band of light.

The image was taken thanks to a campaign led by Carl Sagan, the astronomer and famed science educator and author. At Saga’s request, NASA turned the spacecraft around and snapped a dazzling picture of Earth. For the anniversary, NASA engineer Kevin Gill spruced up the image, using modern image-processing software and techniques to enhance the picture (that was not available when the image was first taken) while keeping it true to its original form.

• YouTube > Carl Sagan Institute > “Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot – 30 Years On” (Feb 14, 2020)

One thought on “Our ‘Pale Blue Dot’ – a meditation

  1. Can a perspective from space of our “pale blue dot” assist personal and social change?

    Wiki: The overview effect is a cognitive shift in awareness reported by some astronauts during spaceflight, often while viewing the Earth from outer space.

    It is the experience of seeing firsthand the reality of the Earth in space, which is immediately understood to be a tiny, fragile ball of life, “hanging in the void”, shielded and nourished by a paper-thin atmosphere. From space, national boundaries vanish, the conflicts that divide people become less important, and the need to create a planetary society with the united will to protect this “pale blue dot” becomes both obvious and imperative. > “Earth from space: ‘Overview effect’ could help troubled country, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson says” (June 3, 2020).

    Tyson attached a screengrab of the following quote by moonwalker Edgar Mitchell, the lunar module pilot on NASA’s Apollo 14 mission in 1971: “You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, ‘Look at that, you son of a bitch.'”

    Indeed, some people have expressed hope that the space tourism industry will help foster goodwill on Earth and a greater conservation ethic by dramatically increasing the overview effect’s reach. And the British company Sen aims to give those of us stuck on terra firma a taste of the real deal with its “EarthTV” satellites, which will stream high-definition views of our planet from orbit.

    But the overview effect is not a panacea, stressed Bill Nye, the former TV “Science Guy” and current CEO of the nonprofit Planetary Society. We need to take action …

Comments are closed.