Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Pale Blue Dot

(Click to embiggen.)

See that tiny little pale blue dot in the middle of that brownish streak on the right side of the photograph? You have to look really closely to see it. That’s the Earth as seen from Voyager 1 in 1990 from a distance of 1.7 billion miles, barely outside of the solar system.

That’s us. That is, as Carl Sagan noted, everybody you’ve ever known, and everything that has ever occurred within human memory took place on or near that tiny little speck.

So when I read a story like this from the BBC about the danger of ocean extinction from an overabundance of carbon dioxide, it really puts into perspective how small we are in the overall scheme of things, and how easy it could be to turn that pale blue dot into a crumbling cinder.