An Animated Homage to the Planet—and Carl Sagan—on Earth Day

Posted by Yasha Wallin

In 1990, at the request of astronomer Carl Sagan, astronauts aboard the voyager 1 captured an image of Earth from a distance of around 4 billion miles away. In the photograph, the "Pale Blue Dot," the Earth appears as a tiny dot against the backdrop of a vast universe. In what is now a well-known narration, Sagan shares his thoughts about this tiny spec that represents humanity, reminding us of the small part we play in this infinite universe.

To celebrate Earth Day, here's a contemporary take on Sagan's sentiments created by illustrator Adam Winnik, who presents the cosmologist's words through a brilliant animation. Of the video Winnik explains, "I have always thought of Carl Sagan's writings as 'scientific poetry' since they lack the cold touch that science is often cursed for having. I think Sagan's words resonate more than ever, and will continue with each generation until the human species 'wakes up.' The first time I heard this excerpt from his book 'Pale Blue Dot' it literally changed my life, and I hope it does for you too. Enjoy."

Related: Remembering Carl Sagan on His Birthday: Innovator, Visionary, and Humanitarian