Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot

I confess to having a slight obsession (I know, that's an oxymoron) about the photo below. It was taken by the Voyager 1 spacecraft at a distance of about 4 billion miles from Earth, on it's way out of our solar system and into the void beyond.

The photo is remarkable enough, framing our world as a tiny speck against a vast backdrop of blackness. The thing that seems to keep it fresh in my mind are the sentiments of the late astronomer and physicist, Carl Sagan.

His words are a profound and sobering reflection upon mankind and our home, and our place in the Universe. This is from his book, "Pale Blue 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."
The bright speck center left in the vertical band is Earth. (click to enlarge)

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