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Encyclopedia > Pale Blue Dot
Seen from four billion miles away, Earth is a dot obscured in a beam of scattered sunlight (pinpointed by artificial blue circle).
Seen from four billion miles away, Earth is a dot obscured in a beam of scattered sunlight (pinpointed by artificial blue circle).

"Pale Blue Dot" is a famous[1] photograph of planet Earth made by Voyager 1 from a record distance, showing it against the space's vastness. It is also the title of a 1994 book by astronomer Carl Sagan that was inspired by the photo. This is the Pale Blue Dot photograph of the Earth taken by the Voyager 1 spacecraft. ... This is the Pale Blue Dot photograph of the Earth taken by the Voyager 1 spacecraft. ... This article is about Earth as a planet. ... Trajectory of Voyager 1 using Celestia The Voyager 1 spacecraft is a 733-kilogram robotic space probe of the outer solar system and beyond, launched September 5, 1977, and is currently operational. ... Insert non-formatted text here Carl Edward Sagan (November 9, 1934 – December 20, 1996) was an American astronomer and astrobiologist and a highly successful popularizer of astronomy, astrophysics, and other natural sciences. ...

Contents

The photograph

On February 14, 1990, NASA commanded the Voyager 1 spacecraft, having completed its primary mission, to turn around to photograph the planets of the Solar System.[2] One image Voyager returned was of Earth, showing up as a "pale blue dot" in the grainy photo.[3] is the 45th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1990 (MCMXC) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 1990 Gregorian calendar). ... The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an agency of the United States federal government, responsible for the nations public space program. ... Trajectory of Voyager 1 using Celestia The Voyager 1 spacecraft is a 733-kilogram robotic space probe of the outer solar system and beyond, launched September 5, 1977, and is currently operational. ... Major features of the Solar System (not to scale; from left to right): Pluto, Neptune, Uranus, Saturn, Jupiter, the asteroid belt, the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth and its Moon, and Mars. ...


Sagan gives the distance as 3.7 billion miles in the book, while NASA website describes it as "more than 4 billion miles" (6.4 billion kilometres). The picture was taken using a narrow-angle camera at 32° above the ecliptic, and created using blue, green, and violet filters.[4] Narrow-angle cameras, as opposed to wide-angle cameras, are equipped to photograph specific details in an area of interest.[5] Only 0.12 pixels represents Earth in the photo.[4] To help compare orders of magnitude this page lists dimensionless numbers between 109 and 1012. ...


Sagan wrote "While almost everyone is taught that the Earth is a sphere with all of us somehow glued to it by gravity, the reality of our circumstance did not really begin to sink in until the famous frame-filling Apollo photograph of the whole Earth — the one taken by the Apollo 17 astronauts on the last journey of humans to the Moon."[6] In the spirit of that realization, Sagan pushed for Voyager to take a photo of the Earth from its vantage point on the edge of the solar system.[3] Voyager took similar pictures of Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, creating a portrait of the Solar System.[4] Mercury's proximity to the Sun prevented it from being photographed and Mars was not visible due to the effect of sunlight on the camera's optics.[7] NASA compiled 60 images produced into a mosaic, called Family Portrait. The Blue Marble is a famous photograph of the Earth taken on 7 December 1972 by the crew of the Apollo 17 spacecraft at a distance of about 45,000 kilometers or about 28,000 miles. ... Apollo 17 was the eleventh manned space mission in the NASA Apollo program. ... Adjectives: Venusian or (rarely) Cytherean Atmosphere Surface pressure: 9. ... Adjectives: Jovian Atmosphere Surface pressure: 20–200 kPa[4] (cloud layer) Composition: ~86% Molecular hydrogen ~13% Helium 0. ... Adjectives: Saturnian Atmosphere Surface pressure: 140 kPa Composition: >93% hydrogen >5% helium 0. ... Adjectives: Uranian Atmosphere Surface pressure: 120 kPa (at the cloud level) Composition: 83% Hydrogen 15% Helium 1. ... NEPTUNE is an acronym for North-East Pacific Time-series Undersea Networked Experiments. ... This article is about the planet. ... Adjectives: Martian Atmosphere Surface pressure: 0. ... Mosaic is the art of decoration with small pieces of colored glass, stone or other material. ... The family portrait taken by Voyager 1 The Family Portrait, or Portrait of the Planets is an image of the Solar System created by Voyager 1 on February 14, 1990; the last taken by the spacecraft before it began its mission into interstellar space. ...


In a commencement address delivered May 11, 1996, Sagan related his thoughts on the deeper meaning of the photograph:[8] May 11 is the 131st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (132nd in leap years). ... Year 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display full 1996 Gregorian calendar). ...

We succeeded in taking that picture [from deep space], and, if you look at it, you see a 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 all 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 civilizations, 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 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 the dot on scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner of the dot. 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.


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. It is up to us. It's been said that astronomy is a humbling, and I might add, a character-building experience. To my mind, 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 and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish this pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.

Al Gore's 2006 documentary film An Inconvenient Truth featured the "Pale Blue Dot" photo at the end. Gore used it in his slide show to underline the need to stop global warming,[9] paraphrasing Carl Sagan with the statement, "That's all we've got". Albert Arnold Gore, Jr. ... An Inconvenient Truth is a controversial documentary film about climate change, specifically global warming, presented by former United States Vice President Al Gore and directed by Davis Guggenheim. ... Global mean surface temperatures 1850 to 2006 Mean surface temperature anomalies during the period 1995 to 2004 with respect to the average temperatures from 1940 to 1980 Global warming is the observed increase in the average temperature of the Earths atmosphere and oceans in recent decades and the projected... Insert non-formatted text here Carl Edward Sagan (November 9, 1934 – December 20, 1996) was an American astronomer and astrobiologist and a highly successful popularizer of astronomy, astrophysics, and other natural sciences. ...


Book summary

Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space (1994) is a non-fiction book by Carl Sagan. It is the sequel to Cosmos: A Personal Voyage and was inspired by the "Pale Blue Dot" photograph, for which Sagan provides a sobering description. In this book, Sagan mixes philosophy about the human place in the universe with a description of the current knowledge about the Solar System. He also details a human vision for the future.[10] Year 1994 (MCMXCIV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display full 1994 Gregorian calendar). ... Insert non-formatted text here Carl Edward Sagan (November 9, 1934 – December 20, 1996) was an American astronomer and astrobiologist and a highly successful popularizer of astronomy, astrophysics, and other natural sciences. ... Cosmos: A Personal Voyage was the name of a thirteen part television series produced by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan which was first broadcast by the Public Broadcasting Service in 1980. ... Major features of the Solar System (not to scale; from left to right): Pluto, Neptune, Uranus, Saturn, Jupiter, the asteroid belt, the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth and its Moon, and Mars. ...


The first part of the book looks at the claims made throughout history that Earth and the human species are unique. Sagan makes two claims for the persistance of the idea of a geocentric, or Earth-centred universe: human pride in our existence, and the threat of torturing those who dissented from it, particularly during the time of the Roman Inquisition. However, he also admits the scientific tools to prove the Earth orbited the Sun were (until the last few hundred years) not accurate enough to measure effects such as parallax, making it difficult for astronomers to prove the geocentric theory was false. Trinomial name Homo sapiens sapiens Linnaeus, 1758 Humans, or human beings, are bipedal primates belonging to the mammalian species Homo sapiens (Latin: wise man or knowing man) in the family Hominidae (the great apes). ... The geocentric model (in Greek: geo = earth and centron = centre) of the universe is a paradigm which places the Earth at its center. ... The Roman Inquisition began in 1542 when Pope Paul III established the Holy Office as the final court of appeal in trials of heresy and served as an important part of the Counter-Reformation. ... This article is about Earth as a planet. ... The Sun (Latin: Sol) is the star at the center of the Solar System. ... This does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...


After saying that we have gained humility from understanding we are not, literally, the centre of the universe, Sagan embarks on an exploration of the entire solar system. He begins with an account of the Voyager program, in which Sagan was a participating scientist. He describes the difficulty of working with low light levels at distant planets, and the mechanical and computer problems which beset the twin spacecraft as they aged. Sagan then examines each one of the major planets as well as some of the moons, including Titan, Triton and Miranda, focusing on whether life is possible at the frontiers of the solar system. Major features of the Solar System (not to scale; from left to right): Pluto, Neptune, Uranus, Saturn, Jupiter, the asteroid belt, the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth and its Moon, and Mars. ... Look up voyager in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Titan (, from Ancient Greek Τῑτάν) or Saturn VI is the largest moon of Saturn and the second largest moon in the solar system,[4] after Jupiters moon Ganymede. ... Triton (trye-tÉ™n, IPA: , Greek Τρίτων), or Neptune I, is the planet Neptunes largest moon. ... Miranda (IPA: ) is the smallest and innermost of Uranus major moons. ...


Sagan argues that studying other planets provides context for understanding the Earth - and protecting it from environmental catastrophe. He feels NASA's decision to cut back exploration of the Moon after the Apollo program was a short-sighted decision, despite the expense and the failing popularity of the program among the United States public. Sagan says future exploration of space should focus on ways to protect Earth. The book was published the year after the comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 crashed into Jupiter, an event Sagan uses to highlight the danger Earth faces from the occasional asteroid or comet large enough to cause substantial damage if it were to hit Earth. He says we need the political will to track large extra-terrestrial objects, or we risk losing everything. Sagan argues that in order to save the human race, space colonization and terraforming should be utilized. The eight planets and three dwarf planets of the Solar System. ... The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an agency of the United States federal government, responsible for the nations public space program. ... Apparent magnitude: up to -12. ... Description Role: Earth and Lunar Orbit Crew: 3; CDR, CM pilot, LM pilot Dimensions Height: 36. ... Hubble Space Telescope image of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, taken on May 17, 1994. ... Adjectives: Jovian Atmosphere Surface pressure: 20–200 kPa[4] (cloud layer) Composition: ~86% Molecular hydrogen ~13% Helium 0. ... 253 Mathilde, a C-type asteroid. ... Comet Hale-Bopp Comet West For other uses, see Comet (disambiguation). ... Artists conception of a space habitat called the Stanford torus, by Don Davis Space colonization (also called space settlement, space humanization, space habitation, etc. ... Artists conception of a terraformed Mars in four stages of development. ...


Later in the book, Sagan's wife, Ann Druyan, challenges readers to pick one of the other planetary dots photographed and featured in the book, and imagine that there are inhabitants on that world who believe that the universe was created solely for themselves. She shared Sagan's belief that humans are not as important as they think they are. Ann Druyan (b. ...


The first edition of the book includes an extensive list of illustrations and photographs, mostly provided by NASA. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an agency of the United States federal government, responsible for the nations public space program. ...


See also

Space and survival is the relationship between space and the long-term survival of the human species and civilization. ... Apollo 8 was a manned mission of the Apollo space program. ... The Blue Marble is a famous photograph of the Earth taken on 7 December 1972 by the crew of the Apollo 17 spacecraft at a distance of about 45,000 kilometers or about 28,000 miles. ...

References

  • Sagan, Carl (1994). Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space, 1st edition, New York: Random House. ISBN 0-679-43841-6. 
  1. ^ Britt, Robert Roy (25 September 2001). Experts Pick: Top 10 Space Science Photos. Space.com.
  2. ^ Pale Blue Dot. The Planetary Society. Retrieved on 2006-07-27.
  3. ^ a b Sagan. "Chapter 1. You Are Here", Pale Blue Dot.  The quote is much copied elsewhere on the web.
  4. ^ a b c Solar System Portrait - Earth as 'Pale Blue Dot'. NASA.
  5. ^ SPACECRAFT - Cassini Orbiter Instruments - ISS. NASA.
  6. ^ The Pale Blue Dot, Chapter 1, end of the fifth paragraph
  7. ^ Portrait of the Solar System Solar System Portrait - Views of 6 Planets. NASA.
  8. ^ Reflections on a Mote of Dust. Retrieved on 2007-04-07.
  9. ^ Gore, Al (January 15, 2004). Al Gore Speaks on Global Warming and the Environment. MoveOn.org. Retrieved on 2006-12-18.
  10. ^ Pale Blue Dot Media Reviews and Publisher's Notes on biblio.com.

Insert non-formatted text here Carl Edward Sagan (November 9, 1934 – December 20, 1996) was an American astronomer and astrobiologist and a highly successful popularizer of astronomy, astrophysics, and other natural sciences. ... Space. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ... is the 208th day of the year (209th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an agency of the United States federal government, responsible for the nations public space program. ... The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an agency of the United States federal government, responsible for the nations public space program. ... The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an agency of the United States federal government, responsible for the nations public space program. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... April 7 is the 97th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (98th in leap years). ... Albert Arnold Gore, Jr. ... January 15 is the 15th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... shelby was here 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ... is the 352nd day of the year (353rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
NationMaster - Encyclopedia: Pale blue (405 words)
Pale blue is a tinted shade of the color blue.
Blue (from Old High German blao shining) is one of the three primary additive colors; blue light has the shortest wavelength range (about 420-490 nm) of the three primary colors.
Blue Heron Pale Ale is a delightful medium bodied golden ale brewed using premium two-row Pale malted barley, generous amounts of both Cluster bittering hops and Cascade finishing hops as well as our special, proprietary yeast strain.
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