We Caught Sight Of Ourselves

From the moment mankind became humanity, emerging awareness directed our gaze toward night skies. Primal awakening responsible for cosmic wonder was evolution’s gift, the catalyst for language, science and technology. The cosmos gave us mythology and ritual, made sense of time and seasons. It begged us to accept unfathomable possibilities, to open eyes and imagination to something that just was.

We tried to fathom our herculean universe, struggled to find a frame of reference – then one day, we caught sight of ourselves. From that moment on nothing would ever be the same.


View of Earth from a camera on V-2 #13, launched October 24, 1946. (White Sands Missile Range/Applied Physics Laboratory)

Earth seen from moon via Apollo 8 astronauts in 1968. Image via NASA

the first picture of the earth and moon in a single frame september 18 1977

First image of Earth and Moon in a single frame. Taken in 1977 by NASA’s Voyager 1, 11..66 million kilometers from Earth.

Apollo 17 Astronaut Cernan Adjusts U.S. Flag on Lunar Surface

Apollo 17 Mission Commander Eugene A. Cernan on lunar surface, 1972.

picture of the earth and moon as seen from mars

First image of Earth and Moon taken from the surface of another planet – MGS (Mars Global Surveyor) 2003. MGS wasn’t capable of colorized images, a Mariner 10 Earth/Moon image from 1973 was used to colorize image.

the pale blue dot by nasa voyager 1 carl sagan famous words

The “Pale Blue Dot” ( halfway down the image in the brown band to the right) planet Earth captured by Voyager 1 in 1990. About to leave our solar system, at the request of Carl Sagan NASA directed Voyager 1 to turn around and take one last photograph of Earth from a distance of 6 billion kilometers.




8 thoughts on “We Caught Sight Of Ourselves

  1. It’s odd, isn’t it, the way familiarity breeds contempt. There was a time when space exploration was new and vibrant and everyone tingled with excitement. Now the International Space Station is up there and hardly anyone even gives a thought to the miracles going on daily there — or any of the results of experiments set into motion decades ago. We are such a short sighted species. But then what other species sets in motion events what will take more than one generation to conclude.
    I’m not sure humbled is the right word though. I truly believe there’s a step further than humbled — though I would be hard pressed to name it — there is something that touches us when we come in contact with the absolute fundamentals of the universe.
    You know — they say that in any language — the most basic fundamentals of a society do not even have words to express them. They do not need expression the are THAT fundamental — the universe is that sort of thing to me. There is much we can talk about — but at a certain point words simply fail.

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