Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Day the Earth Smiled ~~ View from Saturn

On July 19, 2013, the wide-angle camera on NASA's Cassini spacecraft captured Saturn's rings with Earth and its moon in the same frame. Earth, which is 898 million miles (1.44 billion kilometers) away in this image, appears as a blue dot at the center right; the moon is a fainter protrusion off its right side. The other bright dots nearby are stars. Of 323 images, this is the only one that has the Earth-moon system in it.

Imagine that! This is the stuff science fiction stories are made of! Look at that image ~ and the arrow pointing to the itty bitty dot that is us. We look around our world and perceive ourselves as big and important. We create wars to prove who can be more impressive. In the vastness of the Universe, just how much do we matter?

Yet on this little dot of a planet, all our strutting and showmanship matters because this little dot is where we live and have our being. What emotions are stirred up by this image? Moving forward from today, what will you do differently because of them?

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