Pale Blue Dot
by Nikki Eisinger
April 21, 2021
"The Earth is a very small stage in a vast, cosmic arena," said Carl Sagan in his now famous speech to Cornell University Graduates in 1994, "Our posturing, our imagined self-importance, our delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe are challenged by this point of pale light - our planet is but a drop of light in our universe....It underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly to one another, and to preserve and cherish the Pale Blue Dot. The only home we've ever known."
Art student Chin Li Zhi took an excerpt from that speech and created this beautiful moving art.
Carl Edward Sagan (seɪɡən/; November 9, 1934 – December 20, 1996) was an American astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist, author, science popularizer and science communicator in astronomy and natural sciences. He spent most of his career as a professor of astronomy at Cornell University where he directed the Laboratory for Planetary Studies. He published more than 600 scientific papers and articles and was author, co-author or editor of more than 20 books. He advocated scientifically skeptical inquiry and the scientific method, pioneered exobiology and promoted the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI).
Sagan is known for his popular science books and for the award-winning 1980 television series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, which he narrated and co-wrote. The book Cosmos was published to accompany the series. Sagan wrote the novel Contact, the basis for a 1997 film of the same name.
The Cornell speech was taken from his inspiring, humbling and thought-provoking book "The Pale Blue Dot," which challenges traditional perspectives of Earth and human civilization.