30 years after 'pale blue dot' photo of Earth, the coronavirus reminds us of our fragility

By: Ray Jayawardhana,  USA Today
Thu, 05/07/2020

In this great big universe we call home, we are dependent on each other to get through this crisis, writes Ray Jayawardhana, Harold Tanner Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and professor of astronomy, in an op-ed article in USA Today.

"On Valentine’s Day of 1990, following fly-bys of Jupiter and Saturn and on its way out of the solar system, the Voyager 1 spacecraft looked back one last time at the planet whence it was launched," he writes in the piece. "The picture it captured of the Earth as a blurry dot hovering in the dark takes on a new poignancy this month — three decades since the image transferred back to Earth. That’s because a lot has changed even since February, when NASA released a sharper, reprocessed version to mark the 30th anniversary of the image. Today, perhaps more than ever, the sparse visual serves as a stark, if not painful, reminder of humanity’s vulnerability and interdependence as we wrestle with the havoc wreaked by a pandemic."

Read the story in USA Today.


   Earth as a pale blue dot seen from space

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