Michael Marantz created this video, which he called The Pale Blue Dot. It’s not new … but it’s one of my favorites. Marantz said on his Vimeo page:
This piece contains readings from Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot. I have edited his words to tell this short narrative.
The video still rings as true today as it did when it was released, but there’s one section that does sound dated. It’s where Sagan says:
It will not be we who reach Alpha Centauri …
In fact, in 2016, space visionaries announced a plan to reach Alpha Centauri within a human lifetime. Yuri Milner’s organization Breakthrough Initiatives has invested $100 million in learning whether it’s possible to use a 100-gigawatt light beam and light sails to propel some 1,000 ultra-lightweight nanocraft to 20 percent of light speed. If it’s shown to be possible, such a mission could (hypothetically) reach Alpha Centauri within about 20 years of its launch.
But let me end with the entire quote from Sagan and Marantz’ video, because it’s one of its best things. Sagan said:
It will not be we who reach Alpha Centauri, or the nearby stars. It will be a species very like us, with more of our strengths and fewer of our weaknesses.
I only wish I could be there to see that!
Bottom line: A 3-minute video by Michael Marantz called The Pale Blue Dot.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.