July 19, 2014
A year ago today, the Cassini spacecraft was turned to image Saturn and its rings and moons during a total eclipse of the sun. It had been done twice before during its previous 9 years in orbit, but this time was different.
This time, the images collected captured a glimpse of our own planet far, far in the distance on a day that was the first time the Earth’s inhabitants knew in advance their picture would be taken from a billion miles away.
It was a day to revel in the extraordinary achievements in the exploration of our solar system that have made such an interplanetary salute possible. It was a day for people the world over to smile together in celebration of life on the Pale Blue Dot.
And that’s exactly what happened.
At the appropriate time, people the world over stopped what they were doing, went outside, gathered together with friends and family, thought about the utter isolation of our world in the never-ending blackness of space, relished its lush, life-sustaining beauty, and marveled at their own existence and that of all life on planet Earth.
And they smiled, knowing that others around the world were smiling too, in the sheer joy of simply being alive on a pale blue dot.
Tell us what YOU did at that moment on the day the Earth smiled?