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Pale Blue Dot By Prof. M. S. Pillai
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Pale Blue Dot By Prof. M. S. Pillai

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  • 1. Pale Blue Dot Carl Sagan
  • 2. Seen from about 4 billion kilometers (3.7 billion miles), Earth appears as a tiny dot (the blueish-white speck approximately halfway down the brown band to the right) within the darkness of deep space.
  • 3.  The Pale Blue Dot is a photograph of planet Earth taken in 1990 by the Voyager 1 space craft from a record distance of about 4 billion kilometers. In the photograph, Earth is shown as a tiny dot (0.12 pixel in size) against the vastness of space. The Voyager 1 spacecraft, which had competed its primary mission and was leaving the solar system, was commanded by NASA to turn its camera around and to take a photograph of Earth across a great expanse of space, by the request of Carl Sagan.  Subsequently, the title of the photograph was used by Sagan as the primary title of his 1994 book, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space.[1]
  • 4. Photograph  Voyager 1 was launched on 5 September, 1977. When its vantage point reached the edge of the solar system, Sagan had pushed for Voyager to take a photograph of the Earth.[2][3][4][5] On February 14, 1990, having completed its primary mission, the spacecraft was commanded by NASA to turn around to photograph the planets of the Solar System.[4][5][6][7] Between February 14, 1990 and June 6, 1990, one of the images Voyager returned was of Earth showing up as a "pale blue dot" in the grainy photograph,[2][8][9] first seen by Candice Hansen- Koharcheck, a planetary scientist from NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab in California.[10] In the photograph, Earth lies right in the center of one of the scattered light rays resulting from taking the image close to the sun
  • 5. Distance The approximate location of Voyager 1 while the photograph was taken is shown in green
  • 6. Reflections by Sagan  Sagan points out that "all of human history has happened on that tiny pixel, which is our only home" (speech at Cornell University, October 13th 1994, shown here inside a blue circle)
  • 7.  From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it's different. Look again at that dot. 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.
  • 8.  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 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.
  • 9.  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.
  • 10.  The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor 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.
  • 11.  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.

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