On October 13, 1994, Carl Sagan (American astronomer, cosmologist,astrophysicist, astrobiologist and author — Cosmos and more) gave a public lecture at Cornell University reflecting on the Voyager 1’s photograph of the earth taken on February 14, 1990 (13 years after its launch). Voyager 1 had travelled 6 billion kilometers (4 billion miles) from earth when Carl Sagan asked NASA to turn Voyager’s camera toward our home and photograph it. Thank you!
The following are excerpts of this magnificent lecture. If you wish to read the entire lecture, just google it. It is my suggestion that one needs to revisit The Pale Blue Dot often to remind ourselves of how fragile our planet is, and how amazing it is that we have had the privilege to live where life thrives.
The Pale Blue Dot by Carl Sagan
“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.
. . . every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child. . . every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there on the moon of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
“. . . how frequent their misunderstandings. How fervent their hatred. Our imagined self- importance. The delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe are challenged by this point of pale light.
Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic card. In all this vastness there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
Like it or not, for this moment, the earth is where we make our stand.
There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceit than this distant image of our tiny world . . . it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the blue dot. The only home we’ve ever known.”