"Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, 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..." - Carl Sagan, American astrophysicist and author.
Today is Earth Day, when we celebrate the pale blue dot that Carl Sagan was moved to write about after he saw the blurry image from a photograph the Voyager 1 space probe had taken. Voyager 1 was heading farther into interstellar space at the time when this photograph was taken. Shooting these images were not originally planned, but Sagan, a member of the Voyager imaging team at the time, came up with the idea of turning the spacecraft back toward its home for a last look. Voyager 1's gesture was all too human, a kind of final farewell to the planet, which led Sagan, who also created the popular documentary Cosmos in the 1970s, to write an emotional essay about our place in the grand scheme of things. He reminded us eloquently and indelibly that our island home is indeed a finite and limited resource.