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Rosetta Comet Chaser Images Earth and Moon 23

An anonymous reader writes "Using its navigation cameras at the end of July, the comet chasing probe, Rosetta, captured this photograph while looking back towards Earth. From a distance of over 42 million miles, the Earth and Moon look faintly like two headlights on a deserted road. The larger image particularly seems to underscore why Carl Sagan reflected (PDF) on all the battles fought for what?--to become 'the momentary masters of a fraction of a tiny dot.'"
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Rosetta Comet Chaser Images Earth and Moon

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  • It's all relative (Score:4, Insightful)

    by exp(pi*sqrt(163)) ( 613870 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @07:31PM (#9873580) Journal
    I've never gone for the "the earth is a tiny spoeck" point of view. What matters isn't absolute size (no giggles please) but but how important something is. To a parent that little bundle of joy is worth many times more than a volume of space even if it contains 10^11 galaxies each containing 10^11 stars. 'matters' isn't concept that comes from physics and no matter how big the universe turns out to be it takes nothing away from how big the Earth and its inhabitants are in our personal lives. I simply don't measure importance in meters (or even feet).
  • Re:Sagan (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MarsDefenseMinister ( 738128 ) <> on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @07:39PM (#9873674) Homepage Journal
    The truth doesn't care how unpalatable you find it to be. That idea isn't meant to be pessimistic. On the contrary. It's motivational, because we all have a duty to be kind to each other, to educate ourselves, to strive for progress, to be good caretakers for this tiny world. Why? Because in the end, that's all that we have. Look at how small we are, and how small our planet is. Look at how big the universe is, and how barren it is. When we got our little planet, we really won the lottery.

  • Re:Sagan (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cephyn ( 461066 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @07:46PM (#9873742) Homepage
    I think his real point was that we should move past our trivial quibblings and take in the majesty of the universe. Wars and disagreements are trivial compared to bringing knowledge to humanity and moving humanity out to the stars.
  • by cephyn ( 461066 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @07:49PM (#9873766) Homepage
    But if we learn to understand the universe, learn to leave the earth and branch out into the massive universe, there's that many more tiny specks to care about, more people to have more bundles of joy. Importance isn't measured in meters...but it can be if we end up with a dirty, overpopulated, polluted square meter for everyone here....and nowhere else to go.
  • by sameerds ( 148710 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @11:53PM (#9885945) Homepage

    Isn't this attitude exactly what people like Carl Sagan try to fight? Importance is relative? Of course it is. Relative to the size of the cosmos and the possibility of innumerable other inhabited or habitable worlds out there, the Earth itself is unimportant. But its importance to us gets amplified even more!
    It seems you didn't really read the poster very well and understand its message. You make it sound as if people intend to abandon Earth in favour of the Cosmos. What they are actually trying to say is to save us (and the Earth) form ourselves, exactly because we're such an insignificant thing from the point of view of the Cosmos, and the Earth is all we have right now.

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