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Riled Up is a journal of science, the environment, exploration, new technology, and related commentary.  Contributors include scientists, explorers, engineers, and others who provide perspectives and context not typically offered in general news circulation.  For interested readers, additional resources are included.

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A Pale Blue Dot, Echoes of Carl

A Pale Blue Dot, Echoes of Carl


Cassini's Pale Blue Dot (credit: Cassini/JPL/CalTech/NASA)


It is often said:

a picture is worth a 1000 words

Carl Sagan, the great champion of space, science, adventure, and exploration, coined the phrase a pale blue dot to describe how the Earth would appear from the vastness of space. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena released a photograph captured by the Cassini spacecraft that provided a visual example. The image was gathered by the satellite while orbiting Saturn nearly 900 million miles from Earth.

The 20th Century's image echos Sagan's famous quote and offers a worthy tribute to him. However, it is also represents how powerful his statement can be in this century when impacts from global climate change including amplified extreme weather; regional forest fires; glacial melting; and population migrations were still to unfold.

Sagan is known for his existential thoughts on the fragility of this planet. The Cassini photo should be an important reminder as well. WHB

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