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Pale Blue Dot

The Pale Blue Dot is a very famous image that was taken by the Voyager 1 probe.

The very famous picture was taken by Voyager 1 when the probe was instructed to turn its camera around at a massive 3.7 billion miles. This amazing picture that you can see below was taken on February 4th 1990.


When this amazing picture was taken of our great planet, the only other known planets were the solar system planets:

Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and of course:

Earth – The Pale Blue Dot


It would take another 5 years before any other planets outside the solar system to be discovered. There are now thousands of these planets in galaxies and in the Universe that have now been discovered, and we believe that there are endless planets scattered all over the Universe. All different types, and types similar to the Pale Blue Dot.


The Pale Blue Dot is really the creation of the famous American astronomer Carl Sagan. Carl Sagan was a great man and a pioneer of astronomy, and it was his request to NASA, to take a picture of the Earth at such an amazing vantage point.

His famous words of the Pale Blue Dot are as follows below.

“From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of particular interest. But for us, it’s different. Consider again 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.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. 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.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. 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. American Astronomer. 1934 – 1996.  


These great words are now very famous words the world over, and when we as a human race reach many amazing millstones in space travel, we will look back at this famous picture and these beautiful words as a significant moment in time not only for Earth, but for the universe.

Remember that we are all in this universe, and that also the universe in all of us!!      


Kids Fun Facts Corner

# 1. The space craft that took the Pale Blue Dot picture is still travelling through space at 40,00o miles per hour.

# 2. Carl Sagan wrote a book in 1994 about the Pale Blue Dot picture called. Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space.

# 3. The 25th anniversary of the Pale Blue Dot was marked by NASA in 2015.


Q&A Corner

Q. What spacecraft took the picture of the Pale Blue Dot?

Q. On what date was the Pale Blue Dot picture taken?

Q. From how many miles was the Pale Blue Dot picture taken from?

Q. Which astronomer is famous for the Pale Blue Dot?

Q. In what year marked the 25th anniversary of the Pale Blue Dot?

Download questions about the Pale Blue Dot here: Pale Blue Dot (answers are on this page)

For further reading and more info on the Pale Blue Dot visit

Key Vocabulary Pale. Blue. Dot. Universe.


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