General Topics

Pale Blue Dot by Carl Sagan

http://bit.ly/a4FZFjI just heard this marvellous speech of Professor Carl Sagan. I think this speech is very straight to the point and make us realise how small are we and how important the Earth means to us. So I decide to post it here for more people can see/hear about it. ( Youtube speech sound and visual can be found at the end of this article)

Pale Blue Dot

Professor Carl Sagan (1934-1996)

Pale Blue Dot

From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of particular interest.

But for us, it’s different.

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.

 

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena.

Think of the rivers of blood

spilled by all those generals and emperors

so that, in glory and triumph,

they could become the momentary masters

of a fraction of a dot.

Think of the endless cruelties visited

by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel

on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants

of some other corner,

how frequent their misunderstandings,

how eager they are to kill one another,

how fervent their hatreds.

 

Our posturings, 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 dark.

In our obscurity, in all this vastness,

there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere

to save us from ourselves.

 

The Earth is the only world

known so far to harbour life.

There is nowhere else, at least in the near future,

to which our species could migrate.

Visit, yes. Settle, not yet.

Like it or not,

for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

 

It has been said that astronomy

is a humbling and character-building experience.

There is perhaps no better demonstration

of the folly of human conceits

than this distant image of our tiny world.

To me, it underscores our responsibility

to deal more kindly with one another,

and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot,

the only home we’ve ever known.

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Pale Blue Dot
The Pale Blue Dot : the Earth image taken by Voyeger 1 at Saturn

Pale Blue Dot

The Pale Blue Dot is a photograph of planet Earth taken in 1990 by Voyager 1 from a record distance, showing it against the vastness of space. By request of Carl Sagan, NASA commanded the Voyager 1 spacecraft, having completed its primary mission and now leaving the Solar System, to turn its camera around and to take a photograph of Earth across a great expanse of space.

Subsequently, the title of the photograph was used by Sagan as the primary title of his 1994 book, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space.[1]

In a 2001 article by Space.com, STScI’s Ray Villard and JPL’s Jurrie Van der Woude selected this photograph as one of the top ten space science images of all time.

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pale_Blue_Dot

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Carl Sagan

Carl Sagan
Professor Carl Sagan

Carl Edward Sagan (English pronunciation: /ˈseɪɡən/; November 9, 1934 – December 20, 1996) was an American astronomer,astrophysicist, author, cosmologist, and highly successful popularizer of astronomy, astrophysics and other natural sciences. During his lifetime, he published more than 600 scientific papers and popular articles and was author, co-author, or editor of more than 20 books. In his works, he advocated skeptical inquiry and the scientific method. He pioneered exobiology and promoted the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI).

Sagan became world-famous for his popular science books and for the award-winning 1980 television series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, which he narrated and co-wrote.[2] A book to accompany the program was also published. Sagan also wrote the novelContact, the basis for the 1997 film of the same name.

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Sagan

 

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Thanks for the Sheffield Thai Society for sharing this topic

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