The Pale Blue Dot: “Where We Make Our Stand”

by | Feb 14, 2018

It is customary to mark anniversaries in years divisible by 5. EarthDesk is breaking with tradition to celebrate the 28th anniversary of the Pale Blue Dot, and the late Carl Sagan’s timeless reminder that “Earth is where we make our stand.” By February 14, 1990, the Voyager I spacecraft was four billion miles distant, traveling at 38,000 miles per hour, propelled by unimpeded inertial energy for the fringes of our solar system. NASA engineers turned the craft around to point the onboard camera at Earth. Sagan had argued for the maneuver. He understood the profundity of the coming moment. His book Pale Blue Dot, expands on his still startling observation that “in our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.” There are many videos on YouTube composed to Sagan’s narration. Here is mine.