The pale blue dot

11 October, 2009


Earth, as seen from near Jupiter, by Explorer 1, an image taken, at Carl Sagan’s suggestion, on February 14, 1990

Since then it has moved on. Voyager 1 is the farthest man-made object from Earth —currently over 10 BILLION miles — this however only equals .0017 lightyears.

Take everything you know, and place it on a large grain of sand, 2 mm across. That’s Earth. The Sun is about the size of a soccer ball, suspended half a football field away. Between the Earth and the Sun is absolutely nothing, completely empty space, except, perhaps, two more grains of sand and a few large pieces of dust.

The Voyager 1 probe is over 5 kilometers away. It has not yet reached the boundary of our solar system, as defined by the heliopause

If Voyager 1 were traveling in the direction of the nearest star, it would arrive in about 75,000 years. It was launched from Earth in 1977.

See also ” The pale blue dot“, a video with more photos and a commentary by Carl Sagan

On extinction

6 October, 2008

97% of all species have become extinct. Read more

And on a larger scale…

“Most astronomers today believe that one of the most plausible reasons we have yet to detect intelligent life in the universe is due to the deadly effects of local supernova explosions that wipe out all life in a given region of a galaxy”. Read more…

Our neighbourhood

31 May, 2008

Our Earth-moon system, photographed here by NASA’s Galileo spacecraft in 1992,

NGC 628

The galaxy designated NGC 628 (or Messier 74), more than 30 million light years from Earth. It is estimated that M 74 is home to about 100 billion stars, making it slightly smaller than our Milky Way.

Buddha at Borbudur

1 March, 2007

A Buddha at Borubudur, the largest Buddhist monument in the world

Buddhas within stupas, on a larger stupa (Borubudur)

………The Four Noble Truths………