The pale blue dot

Above is a famous photograph taken of the Earth by Voyager 1 in 1990 from 4 billion miles away (about 6 light-hours). The late astronomer Carl Sagan called this view of Earth the “Pale Blue Dot”, and had this to say about the image:

“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.”

When we look at this image, you realize how utterly small and insignificant Earth really is…

Keep in mind that this picture was taken by a spacecraft that was still comfortably within the confines of our Solar System. Our solar system is an inconceivably small object compared to the Milky Way galaxy in which it resides. And the Milky Way galaxy is an inconceivably small object in proportion to the Local Group cluster of galaxies in which it resides. And the Local Group galaxy cluster is an inconceivably small object in proportion to the overall Universe…

The point I’m trying to get at here is that we’re spending all this time and money to make just the smallest speck of dust, the smallest corner of the universe, into something we call, “Home”. It’s that seemingly insignificant corner or the universe which we miss when we’re away, long for when we’re at work, comforted by when we’re sick and celebrate in during lifes most momentous occasions. So is all the blood, sweat, and tears that we deal with in making this little piece of dust ‘home’ worth it?

You betcha.

About Stefan
Stefan is the regular writer for Megan & Stefan, and hails originally from San Diego, California. A resident of Australia since 2007, he write about his experiences living abroad, his love of photography, and documenting the process of building a house here in this sunburnt country he calls home. Feel free to drop him a line - he's always up for a chat.

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