The Pale Blue Dot

Composed 1994 by Carl Sagan in Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space

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.

Pale Blue Dot
Photograph: Pale Blue Dot taken 1990 from Voyager 1, of Earth viewed at a distance of six billion kilometers

Song: Blue Lips; Regina Spektor, 2010. Uploaded to YouTube 2011. Art by Cafechan, 2011.

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