Saturday, December 15, 2012

Inverse Pale Blue Dot

A departure from IBL topics for this post... 

I spent part of last week with my family taking a much needed break in Yosemite.  As we made our way back to civilization yesterday, we were rudely confronted with news of the massacre at an elementary school in CT.  My thoughts go out to those who have been affected by this terrible event.  

While in Yosemite, I made an image that I think is relevant.  I have always lived in urban areas so I rarely get to see the stars.  On this trip, one of the evenings was moonless and clear, so I took my camera and tripod to make a "wide field" night photo from Tunnel View.  At the time I was out there taking pictures, I thought of "A Pale Blue Dot" by Carl Sagan, and how this experience was the inverse of the Pale Blue Dot image.  Instead of the Voyager capturing an image of the earth as a single pixel, I was on the pale blue dot capturing a mass of stars and galaxies that make even a great national park infinitesimally small by comparison.
"There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known." -- Carl Sagan
Indeed it is all our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another.