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Speaker Carolyn Porco

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[Clapping] Thank you, thank you. Carolyn Porco. Planetary Scientist. I'd like to begin today with a remarkable story about the inhabitants of a rocky little ocean-covered world in orbit around an ordinary star one of hundreds of billions of stars in an ordinary galaxy in a universe filled with a hundred billion galaxies. This story goes that these beings, with soaring imagination and refusing to accept limitations developed the languages of mathematics and science became skilled technologists and eventually flung themselves and their machines off their plantes and into outer space. And they did this merely in response to an innate desire to explore and to learn and to secure their future and to seek the answers to questions that had vexed them and every generation of their ancestors before them. How is it that their small planet and them living on it came to be? And what is the great cosmic theater in which life on their planet had unfolded? Well this is a story about us. And we humans have been interplanetary mariners now for over fifty years. We have walked on our own moon and we have sent robotic space craft to every corner of the solar system and beyond all in search for answers to these questions. And these robotic, epic journeys have indeed rewarded us with insights into the origin of the earth and its sibling planets and they have shown us with startling clarity our cosmic place. The latest chapter in this story is presently being written at Saturn, where our cameras there have recently acquired a picture of a sight that no human had ever seen before a total eclipse of the sun, in which we can spot across a billion miles of interplanetary space our own planet Earth cradled in the arms of Saturn's rings. [Applause] As evidenced by your reaction there is something powerful a powerful recognition that stirs within us when we see our home floating in the skies of other worlds. In an instant we can see how small, fragile, and alone we all really are. And we can see ourselves, our species brave and unyielding and it's struggle to grasp the meaning and the significance of its own existance and we can see how hopeful we were to even imagine that we could cross the enormous distances separating the planets and how daring and far reaching we are for actually having done it. And finally, in this picture we can find the very best in each and every one of us. We are perhaps the small and troubled inhabitants of one tiny little planet but we are also the dreamers of big dreams and the thinkers and the explorers who took this picture. One world to another, the extraordinary inhabitants of planet Earth. And now, let's listen to the moving words of my friend and colleague the late Carl Sagan as he describes that pale blue dot.

Video Details

Duration: 3 minutes and 27 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Genre: None
Views: 1,614
Posted by: pangea on May 14, 2008

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