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  • Writer's pictureStathopoulos Stefanos

PERCEPTION: A pale blue dot

Pale Blue Dot is a photograph of planet Earth taken on February 14, 1990, by the Voyager 1 space probe from a record distance of about 6 billion kilometers, as part of the Family Portrait series of images of the Solar System.

In the photograph, Earth's apparent size is less than a pixel. The planet appears as a tiny dot against the vastness of space, among bands of sunlight scattered by the camera's optics.

Voyager 1, which had completed its primary mission and was leaving the Solar System, was commanded by NASA to turn its camera around and take one last photograph of Earth across a great expanse of space, at the request of astronomer and author Carl Sagan.

During a public lecture at Cornell University in 1994, Carl Sagan presented the image to the audience and shared his reflections on the deeper meaning behind the idea of the Pale Blue Dot:

«..Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, 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..»

When I first read this text, I realized two things. First, that you can find art everywhere, even is astrophysics. This text is pure poetry. I never considered that a photo displaying earth in a less than a pixel size could create such a beautiful feelings and thoughts.

And, second, made me consider my perception of existence. In your life you describe things as "great" or "simple". You classify people to those who you "admire" and those you "criticize". You get "disappointed" with yourself or you feel that you are the "king of the world"..

But what makes this determination correct.? Perception is the key.

You have always to question on which base I compare. I' m poor/significant/great comparing to who.?

Set the right base in order to conclude the correct result..

Don't forget, we are just living on a "mote of dust"..

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