A self-portrait from 900 million miles away

I saw this great photo today of Earth taken from Cassini, the spacecraft orbiting Saturn:

Earth from Cassini

Earth is the blue dot just under the rings of Saturn. This is a self-portrait from 900 million miles away.

Our home is just another smudge of light in space. It looks so small and fragile and not so impressive from this vantage point. But it’s our home and our smudge, and it’s glorious.

I keep coming back to the big picture to put my own little picture into context and give it meaning. Humans have gone from hunter-gatherers to cosmic explorers in a blink of time. Your problems got you down? They’re not so big after all when you change your vantage point.

Seeing this image made me search for Carl Sagan’s famous ode to our “pale blue dot”, as he calls the image of Earth in a similar photo from many years ago.

Here’s a lovely video with Sagan reading his famous prose reflecting on what a precious home we have:

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