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Page history last edited by ar.fisk@... 15 years, 4 months ago


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Planet: It gets cold between the stars. Most of space is desert, dry and empty. But there are, here and there, beads that glitter close to steady, gentle suns...Every now and then .... one of the little spinning globes even awakens. 'I AM' it declares, singing into the darkness... To which the darkness has an answer, befitting any upstart: 'SO WHAT. BIG DEAL...'

It is said that it was a photograph of the Earth, taken from Apollo 8 on its way to the Moon in 1968*, that awakened many people to the fragile and precious beauty of our planet: something to be cherished rather than used.


Be that as it may, images of shiny blue, cloud flecked baubles are just a little cliched. For a decorating image, I therefore chose something a little less standard: this shot of the Earth, taken in 1994 by Voyager 1 as it left the Solar System.



Apart from being closer in time to the publication of 'Earth', this image moved Carl Sagan to make his famous 'Pale Blue Dot' speech, which echoes the above excerpt from the novel, written five years earlier:


Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives...

Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.


Jen Wolling might approve.

  • Someone please verify


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