The Pale Blue Dot.

Discussion in 'Science' started by Goth, Aug 24, 2007.

  1. Goth

    Goth Grumpy Member

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    In 1990, after it passed Saturn, the Pioneer I spacecraft swung around, so that it might take images of the inner planets of the solar system, six and a half billion kilometres from home.

    This is the photo that it took of Earth. At the original resolution, that pale blue dot of light is something like 0.12 of one pixel. It's a very, very sobering photo, more so than Apollo 17's famous photo.

    [​IMG]

    Carl Sagan's famous, moving description of this image, which is the basis of the book Pale Blue Dot, is recorded as the following video, which is very nice:

     
  2. Foliage

    Foliage Member

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    Do you have this photo, nice find btw.
     
  3. nexx

    nexx Member

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    The Apollo photo? Probably referring to the Earthrise pic?
     
  4. Fortigurn

    Fortigurn Member

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    The 'pale blue dot' is impressive in its own right, but 'earthrise' still moves me more. :)
     
  5. WestCoast

    WestCoast Member

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    "Hey, I can see my house from here!!!"

    Nice pic! :)
     
  6. PsychoSmiley

    PsychoSmiley Member

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    Would you say it's wrong to have shed a tear listening to that?
     
  7. inoshiro

    inoshiro Member

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    I'd have to agree that the 'Earthrise' pic moves me more. I know we're just an insignificant dot in the grand scheme of things, but seeing the Earth as a recognisable object floating there in space is something else...

    Nice pic tho' :)
     
  8. Nobby

    Nobby Member

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    Having now watched that video, and wiped the tear from my eye, I can say without any shadow of a doubt that it should be required viewing for anyone and everyone.
     
  9. chip

    chip Member

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    I saw this image of the earth captured by a Mars rover before finding the pale blue dot. Has pretty much the same effect though...
     
  10. Kaliban

    Kaliban Member

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    It looks about as impressive as another pale blue dot that I can see in my 10" telescope - Neptune :)
     
  11. Menthu_Rae

    Menthu_Rae Member

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    What's with all of these people being "moved"? I don't get it??? Is it because it makes everything seem so insignificant or something?

    I think things like those shown on this page --> http://www.mpa-garching.mpg.de/galform/data_vis/index.shtml <-- really put everything into perspective.

    A planet is a tiny dot less than a pixel? Wow... how about when 32,180,000,000,000,000,000 km is represented as a few pixels :Paranoid:

    http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/images/content/97021main_upper-left.jpg

    Our whole galaxy is less than nothing in the scheme of things.
     
  12. chip

    chip Member

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    Woah man, way to be a killjoy and bring down our buzz :D

    I think it's more the 'seeing yourself from a different perspective' thing. Interstellar or intergalactic distances are pretty abstract, but seeing your planet in a new perspective that isn't too hard to conceptualise is an interesting idea (for most people). Kind of like finding your house with Googe Earth, which seems to be the first thing most people do with it.
     
  13. CoFfeX

    CoFfeX Member

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  14. Nobby

    Nobby Member

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    No, it's because it's our blue dot, and chances are we'll never have another.
     
  15. looktall

    looktall Working Class Doughnut

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  16. fuller2002

    fuller2002 Member

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    Very moving indeed, i feel humbled by that :)

    Matt.
     
  17. Primüs

    Primüs Member

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  18. led_blind

    led_blind Member

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    Yeah, that Casini one is spectacular.
     
  19. petercr

    petercr Member

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  20. Rational

    Rational Member

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    The audio book "Pale Blue Dot" spoken and written by Carl Sagan is certainly an amazing listen. The book is absolutely brilliant and being spoken by the voice of such a great man makes it so much better.
     

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