The Pale Blue Dot
Normally something like this would give me an existential crisis; I don’t enjoy being reminded just how little control I have over things. (Ask my college boyfriend.)
But 23 years ago NASA released this photo. That pale blue dot? Yeah, that’s us. Earth suspended in the dusty shaft of a sunbeam. Every person who EVER lived, thought, dreamed, or fought did it on that tiny speck of light. I think it’s mind-blowing.
Why’s it back in the news? Well, a group of astronomers recently restaged the photo and released it yesterday. How’s it even better? They timed the capture of the photo with a request for people on Earth to look up into the sky at the exact moment of its imaging on July 19, 2013.
According to the head of the experiment, “If all went well, the images would capture a glimpse of Earth alongside Saturn and its rings at the very moment that people all over the globe would be contemplating their connectedness to each other and to all life on Earth, appreciating the rarity of our planet within the solar system, marveling at their own existence, and rejoicing at the very thought of having their picture taken from across the solar system.” (via The Atlantic)
Super cool. And apropos of outer space – does anyone else watch The Voice? I think Cee-Lo might be an alien.
NASA’s new “Pale Blue Dot” photo below – we’re the bright dot.
And two of my favorite space jamz for your aural pleasure: