Look to the right of the center of this photo, at the little white dot. It’s not a piece of dust on the photo. It’s you, and me. . . and everyone else on the planet. Because that dot IS this planet. It was taken by the spacecraft Voyager 1 on February 14, 1990, from 3.7 billion miles away as it left our universe on its way into deep space.
Astronomer Carl Sagan convinced NASA to turn the space probe’s camera back toward earth, rather than ahead into space. Here is what Sagan wrote after seeing the photo, which he called the “Pale Blue Dot”:
“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.”
If you are having a bad day, with problems that seem almost too much to handle, stare at this photo. Think about your place on that dot. Maybe it will make your problem seem a little less significant, more manageable. And maybe that will help you feel a little better.
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