It is the Pale Blue Dot redux. Juno, the Jupiter satellite, looked back at the Earth Moon system and snapped a photo! Here it is!
Juno was sent to Jupiter to probe the composition of Jupiter’s atmosphere, which is still a big mystery. It’s been a month into its journey, which is supposed to last for five long years.
NASA has pinned a lot of hopes on this satellite probe. Jupiter is still largely unknown. We covered the Juno story here.
The Pale Blue Dot
The lyrical prose by the late Carl Sagan rushes back to haunt us! In 1991, at Sagan’s request, Voyager turned its camera back to photograph the inner planets. It was beyond Neptune’s orbit and was about to leave the Solar System. It captured one blue pixel, which was the earth. The picture was immortalised as the Pale Blue Dot’. The following paragraph by Carl Sagan is as close prose can come to poetry.
From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it’s different. 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. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
Sagan taught us how to look at these photos. It’s an exercise in humility!
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech