Voyager inspiring awe 35 years on


Voyager is still working, 35 years after leaving the planet and at least 11.1 billion miles from ‘home’ – is the furthest man made object from the Earth. It is about to leave our Heliosphere – that is the furthest reach of the bubble of charged particles from our sun

This is one of the last images it streamed back to us on earth, look at it. It may seem nothing, a spot, a mote in God’s eye, but look at it…

No one has ever immortalized the meaning of this picture better than the late, great Carl Sagan. After seeing this picture, not too long before his death, Sagan urged us all to look at this picture in awe.

From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of particular interest. But for us, it’s different. 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.” – Carl Sagan

Now go about your day knowing that your hopes and dreams are precious and everyone who lives is equally precious. Know that even though we are a universally inconsequential hiccup love is the greatest gift we have to pass on. That all religions that were, are and will be can never truly grasp the awe inspiring majesty of the universe, and to condense it into the notions of a mere book from this perspective are laughable as much as the ravings of anyone who’s mad can be.

So go, go about your day, enjoy the people you meet and know that even though we are here for a galactic heartbeat that whatever we do will be of no consequence at all to the universe. For me that is comforting, it’s the ultimate anonymity and we will one day return to the origins of our true ‘gods’ for we are all the children of stars and to stars all our molecules will will one day return.

So put in your day of work, build grow and expand and don;t forget to leave time in your life for the ones who matter most.