This is the most distant picture of Earth ever taken.




One of my heroes, scientist, author, and science communicator Carl Sagan, wrote a speech about this picture & delivered it to Cornell University in 1994. To me, it's one of the most important things ever written.

I can neither confirm nor deny that I can recite this speech by heart. :)



"Consider again, that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it, everyone you know, everyone you love, everyone you've ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joys and sufferings, 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 hopeful child, every mother and father, every 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 in 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.

The Earth is the only planet known so far to inhabit life. There is no place, at least not in the near future, to which we could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, 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."

— Carl Sagan, Cornell University, October 13, 1994