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posted by hubie on Monday April 24 2023, @01:15AM   Printer-friendly

Our precious planet seen from deep space:

NASA's exploration robots have rumbled around Mars, swooped around Saturn, and flown well beyond the planets, into interstellar space.

But the space agency's engineers often direct their machines to peer back at the vivid blue dot in the distance.

"During almost every mission we turn around and take a picture back home," NASA's former chief historian, Bill Barry, told Mashable. "There seems to be an irresistible tendency to look back at home."

Indeed, in the cosmic images below you'll glimpse some of the farthest-away views of our humble, ocean-blanketed world ever captured by humanity. When we view other objects, worlds, stars, or even galaxies, we often see just dots. But to most of the cosmos, we're just a dot in the vast ether, too.

The article has nice images of the Earth and Moon taken by OSIRIS-REx, Earth as seen from the surface of Mars, a video flyby of the Earth and Moon by the Juno spacecraft, and a beautiful shot of Earth looking back with Saturnian rings in the view by Cassini, all reminding us of Carl Sagan's famous Pale Blue Dot where he observed:

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 that pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.


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  • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Tuesday April 25 2023, @02:49PM

    by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Tuesday April 25 2023, @02:49PM (#1303055) Homepage Journal

    I used that photo on the back cover of Meditations, with the quote "And yet the whole Earth itself, what is it but as one point, in regard to the entire universe?" -- Marcus Aurelius

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