Another homage to Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot:
Joe Hanson celebrates the 40th anniversary of the "Blue Marble" photograph, shot by the crew of Apollo 17:
A human being hasn’t seen this sight with the naked eye since 1972. The International Space Station doesn’t orbit far enough from Earth to see anything but curved edges. Same with the shuttle. …
But I want another human being to see our Earth from this vantage point. When this image came back to Earth, people stopped for a moment, however brief, in the midst of wars Cold and hot, to realize this is our home. Our home. Maybe a military officer somewhere thought twice about dropping bombs that day. Maybe a parent showed it to their kids before bed instead of sitting silently in front of the TV. Maybe someone who was alive when the Wright brothers flew for the first time smiled at how far we’d come. I don’t want this to be the last time we feel those things. Let’s go take another picture.
To commemorate the fortieth anniversary of "The Blue Marble," Planetary Collective, a group of visual artists, philosophers, and scientists, released the short film Overview at a screening at Harvard this past Friday.
Overview takes its title from author Frank White’s phrase for the perspective of the earth as seen from space: “The Overview Effect.” White’s book of the same name uses interviews and writings from thirty astronauts and cosmonauts to build a theory about the psychology of planetary perspectives. … Especially interesting is the interview with Apollo astronaut Edgar Mitchell; he comes to see his experience in mystical terms, as a kind of intense meditative state known in Sanskrit as savikalpa Samadhi, a union with the divine.