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Pale Blue Dot

Earth, suspended in a sunbeam

Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot is not an easy read, but it is one of the more compelling books I’ve ever read.

The book centers around the above photo, an image of earth taken by the Voyager 1 spacecraft as it left our solar system. It shows our planet, a pale blue dot, suspended in a sunbeam reflected by some cosmic dust.

Look again at 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.

– Carl Sagan, “Pale Blue Dot”

In the book, Sagan discusses the possible future of humans on this planet and beyond. It’s humbling, moving, inspiring stuff.

I first stumbled upon it in my local library in hardcover. The images in it were stunning. Several years later, a friend gave me a copy of the book as a birthday gift. Two years ago, my wife gave me the the above photo and quote in a frame. It hangs above my desk. I love it.

I was pretty excited to find out that someone turned an excerpt from the book into an animated video. Check it out…

Image from Wikipedia


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Have any questions or comments about this post? Email me at chris@gomakethings.com or contact me on Twitter at @ChrisFerdinandi.

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