8 March 2013

…and the English, French, sharks, and cabbages

On 14 February 1990 Voyager I, then 3.7 billion miles away from Earth and travelling away from our solar system, turned its camera around and took a photograph of our planets, including a dot, a pale blue dot. Earth.

As Carl Sagan said, for every human who has ever lived that dot in the vastness has been our common home.

Everyone should read or hear Sagan’s commentary on our pale blue dot: look here.

And the origins of the Cornish and the rest…?

All the atoms that make us come from stars that exploded and scattered their components billions of years ago or, in the case of our hydrogen atoms, were formed shortly after the Big Bang. We are starstuff, stardust. That is our origin, that is the origin of the Cornish (and every person and thing on Earth).

As I have said before and before: we are all cousins – and cousins to all the other animals and to plants and rocks. We have a common origin.

Earth is a small place in the vastness of space and Cornwall itself is one small nook of the dot.

SAGAN Carl Cosmos (1980) television series, Pale blue dot (1995)

KRAUSS Lawrence A universe from nothing (2009, 2012)

We are here: the pale blue dot

And here’s an account of the photographing of Earth as a dot