The nitrogen in our DNA , the calcium in our teeth , the iron in our blood , the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of star stuff – Carl Sagan , cosmos.No one has ever explained space , in all its glory , as well as Sagan did. He’s been gone now for nearly two decades , but his fondness , enthusiasm and passion for understanding this Universe ( we are so lucky to live in ), lives forever in the heart of every space enthusiasts .
Sagan is probably the best known for his television series “Cosmos : a personal voyage”which explained the wonders of universe and also made us to re-think about our place in this awesomely vast universe, or as Sagan said ‘ we are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it is forever’ .He wrote large number of books which include Cosmos , Pale blue dot etc . He also wrote science fiction novel Contact , basis for the film of same name.
Sagan was the key contributor to some of the NASA’s most iconic missions. One of those missions involved launching of space probes- Voyager-1 and voyager -2 . Voyager-1 is the farthest traveled space craft from Earth as well as farthest man made object till today. There are two very interesting story or fact about this space probe.One is the “golden record ” which contains phonograph records of diversity of life and culture of earth , in case any intelligent extra-terrestrial life form may find them .
The other very interesting story is about the ‘pale blue dot ‘. When voyager-1 was about to leave our solar system , Carl Sagan insisted to turn the camera of the space probe for one last look at its home planet – Earth. This is the image of Earth taken from the space craft from a distance of more than 6 billion kilometers. Earth appears as a tiny point of life , only 0.12 pixel in size.
Regarding this Carl Sagan quoted that – “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”.
Just for once if we try to understand our Universe from this point of view , the way of looking at things in our life really changes. It is time when we realize how insignificant and how precious our life is, in this universe.
“You’re an interesting species. An interesting mix. You’re capable of such beautiful dreams, and such horrible nightmares. You feel so lost, so cut off, so alone, only you’re not. See, in all our searching, the only thing we’ve found that makes the emptiness bearable, is each other.” – Carl Sagan