I may have mentioned it before, but I’m a space geek. For those who don’t follow news about our forays into space, I figured I’d share one of the more interesting stories of the week.
This past Friday (July 19) the Cassini spacecraft took a picture of Earth while it was out around Saturn. That is approximately 1.5 billion kilometers from Earth. From that distance we were just a pale blue dot among a sea of black. It was a rare event to have our picture taken from such a distance.
From that distance you’d never know there were people there. You’d never know there were people there that launched a spacecraft 16 years ago, that traveled through space almost 900 million miles that ended up taking such a picture.
That pale blue dot holds over 7 billion people. Holds over 7 billion hopes and dreams. It houses good people and bad people. It houses people of different races, creeds and colors. It has survived wars, hurricanes, tornadoes, and even meteor strikes. Yet, from out there, you’d never know it. The things we view as big deals, don’t even make a ripple in the cosmic scale of things.
Yet here we are. We did this and we are capable of so much more. One day we will travel that far out. One day we will make our mark not just on this pale blue ball, but out there in the galaxy. I have to wonder, of all the other pale balls we’ve taken pictures of, how many could be housing billions of people with hopes and dreams. How many pictures of other planets have we taken from such distances that we have no idea of what’s on them.
I for one, hope we never stop trying to find out.
Originally published July 25, 2013