Home Science The Pale Blue Dot

The Pale Blue Dot

by Sangam Adhikari

On the surface, this photo doesn’t look like much, right? Just some blackness, a few colorful lines…where’s even the dot?

Oh, there it is.

At first glance, you might think that you’re looking at an atom or some other extremely small particle. Certainly something extremely tiny that’s been magnified, right?


On February 14th, 1990, NASA, (at the request of the legendary Carl Sagan himself), sent a command to the Voyager 1 space probe for it to orient its cameras towards Earth and take one last photo before journeying on into the Kuiper Belt.

And at a distance of 6.05 billion kilometers (3.76 billion miles), at a point in space beyond the orbit of Neptune, Voyager 1 did just that.

It is the most distant photo ever taken of the Earth.

Just think about it…

That tiny, pale blue dot- that little, itty-bitty speck suspended in the dark void of empty space…is us.

It is Earth.

It is our home.

It is the birthplace of every living being we’ve ever discovered.

The battleground for every war and battle ever fought.

The workshop for every inventor and scientist.

The studio where every piece of music was composed- where every painting was imagined.

It is the only known place in the universe that harbors life.

That little, tiny, fragile speck contains everything that anyone has experienced.

Every heartbreak.

Every first kiss.

Every baby’s first cries.

Every shallow, dying breath.

Every triumphant moment of victory.

Every crushing day of defeat.

Every great cry of joy.

Every sorrowful weep of misery.

Everything that has been experienced, every life that has been lived- not just by humans, but by all living things, from bacteria to dinosaurs- has taken place on that tiny, insignificant pale blue dot.

This picture really puts things into perspective for me.

It reminds me that no matter how large my problems, or how great my triumphs- they are irrelevant in the grand face of the Universe.

And yet, looking at this picture, I can’t help but feel lucky for my existence- to have a chance to experience all that this tiny, yet the intricate world has to offer.

It truly is a humbling thought for a resident of the Pale Blue Dot.

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