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Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space

4.3 of 5 stars 4.30  ·  rating details  ·  14,231 ratings  ·  423 reviews
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Carl Sagan traces our exploration of space and suggests that our very survival may depend on the wise use of other worlds. This stirring book reveals how scientific discovery has altered our perception of who we are and where we stand, and challenges us to weigh what we will do with that knowledge.

Photos, many in color.
Paperback, 384 pages
Published September 8th 1997 by Ballantine Books (first published 1994)
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A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill BrysonA Brief History of Time by Stephen HawkingCosmos by Carl SaganThe Selfish Gene by Richard DawkinsGuns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond
Best Science Books - Non-Fiction Only
28th out of 867 books — 2,107 voters
A Brief History of Time by Stephen HawkingCosmos by Carl SaganThe Elegant Universe by Brian GreeneThe Fabric of the Cosmos by Brian GreenePale Blue Dot by Carl Sagan
5th out of 70 books — 90 voters

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Community Reviews

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For the majority of my life, reading was never an interest. At all. I spent most of my childhood watching movies and playing video games and football. Reading was boring, time-consuming (in a boring way) and pointless.

But then, around sixteen, something happened that changed my life drastically. I discovered Carl Sagan.

I still remember buying Cosmos, unpacking it, starting it and turning the volume to the max. I watched all the episodes in a day. I couldn't stop. And then it happened. For the
I recently came across several references to this book while reading the superb God Delusion. I was intrigued, and since it had been quite a while since I read Cosmos, I decided to give Carl Sagan another go.
Besides his beautiful evocative descriptions of moons and worlds in our own Solar system, Sagan gave us a surplus of inspirational and cautionary passages in this work which--even as an adult--make you want to grow up to be an astronaut.
Once, in German class, I recommended Carl Sagan’s magnificent Cosmos television series to a classmate. “Wow,” she said. “That’s the first time somebody suggested Carl Sagan to me who wasn’t a pothead.” I wasn’t sure if that was an insult or a compliment; I said “thanks” anyway.

Although I’m sure Carl Sagan can be enjoyed in a variety of altered states, he can be enjoyable for those of us here on earth too. In fact, the message of this book can (if one can stomach the cliché) justly be described a
Chris Friend
Nov 07, 2007 Chris Friend rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Sci-fi fans, space fans, humanitarians
I was impressed by how much I enjoyed this one. I've not read any Sagan before, so I didn't know what to expect, but he's one of those brilliant scientists who understands how to clearly explain things to laypeople. His story (I use the term though it reads more like a collection of journal entries or brief reports) covers wide-ranging topics about the implications and necessity of space travel, posing questions frequently, answering them occasionally, and leading inexorably to a single conclusi ...more
Aug 21, 2007 Joshua rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of Al Gore's "The Inconvinient Truth"
WOW....WOW....WOW. Carl Sagan, what a champ. Fiction from scientists/astrologists may be a bummer (see Contact), but Carl drops the BOMB in this work. Truly ahead of his time and a great american. A great intro into science/astrology and really helped me understand a lot about all the planets and their make-up. Once we kill earth (pretty soon), perhaps we aren't TOTALLY fucked, their are other options out there if we get with it...but hey, we killed earth so why listen to Sagan. I drive an SUV, ...more
Pale Blue Dot refers to the Earth as photographed from the Voyager craft at a point beyond the orbit of Neptune. Of course at that distance, the Earth is barely discernible - a very small, unremarkable, pale blue dot among a myriad of billions of other unremarkable points of light. Yet all our history, civilization, and culture that we have ever known has occurred on that dot.

Even though our ingrained geo-centric and ethno-centric biases cause us to become deflated and even depressed at the real
معتز عناني
يأخذك كارل ساجان من موطنك ويسافر بك بعيداً عن خارج الأرض ،، ليبدأ عقلك في بناء تصورات صحيحة عن الفضاء وبعيدة عن خرافات الأفلام الغربية التي تُزرع في أدمغتنا مع الوقت . خلال تصفح الكتاب سيحاول الكاتب اقناعك بالفلسفة الوجودية في رسائل مختلفة بالهجوم على الدين في موقع ،، وعلى عابدي الأفكار التقليدية في موقع اخر .

تستطيع تخليص الكتاب في : " ان كوكب الارض بكامله مجرد نقطة ، وموقع سكننا الخاص مجرد زاوية متناهية الصغر " وبهذا وجب علينا ان ندرك اننا لسنا عظماء كما ندعي ،، بل علينا ان نتعقل وننضج كبشر لنت
I brought this book to work with me during the incredibly slow weeks of the holiday season. The book was repetitive, full of purple prose, and overly sentimental about "science" in a way that reminded me of my parochial school days. I had expected a good book explaining stuff about astronomy, science, whathaveyou, but it was mostly emotional pandering to atheists who think they're morally/intellectually superior to non-atheists. There was a whole lot of nothing for a couple hundred pages that ca ...more
Take Carl’s revered “Pale Blue Dot” speech, and multiply it by, say, the power of ten. That’s Pale Blue Dot. And the fact that it’s only by the power of ten... well, that’s how great that speech is.
Shafaet Ashraf
আকাশের তারা দেখা আমার খুব পরিয় একটা কাজ। আমার দেহের পরমাণুগুলো কোন তারায় তৈরি হয়েছে এটা চিনতা করতেই দারুণ লাগে। মহাকাশ নিয়ে ডকুমেনটারী, বই পেলেও ছাড়িনা। আর বইটা যদি কারল সযাগানের লেখা হয় তখন সেটা অনয লেভেলে চলে যায়। কারল সযাগান মনে করতেন মানবজাতিকে টিকে থাকতে হলে তারায় তারায় ছড়িয়ে যাওয়া ছাড়া কোনো উপায় নেই, মূলত সেটা নিয়েই এই বই। কারল সযাগান এমন একজন লেখক যার ননফিকশন বই যেকোন সেরা শবাসরুদধকর ফিকশনের মত টেনে ধরে রাখতে পারে, তবে ফিকশনের মত দরুত পড়ে ফেলা যায় না, একটা একটা লাইন অনেকষণ ধরে উপভোগ ...more
This book was very well written by an excellent physicist. It was one of those books that really makes you consider the world around you and the massive scale of the Universe.
The first chapter contemplated the arrogance and self-centred nature of humans, and presented the notion that humans are exceedingly small compared to the vast Universe. For the first time I really comprehended how tiny our species are. It is quite an obvious concept that gets lost in everyday worries, fears and troubles. N
Bipul Roy
Must read this book, when ever you frown at someone at their small mistake and showing your egoistic authority at someone. This book will surely prove to be ego diminishing. Read it when ever your mind is facing giant storm of the "I" concept, all you feeling of self significance will vanish away.

Best one from Carl Sagan(about earth on watching its picture taken from the robotic probe at about 7-8 billion miles away,from the edge of solar system the earth appeared to be a dust particle):

"Look a
Sanabel Atya

رؤية عن الأرض و "أقرب" ما يحيط بها أي المجموعة الشمسية على الأخص..
شرح،ألمّ بكل ما توصل إليه العلم بخصوص جاراتنا الكواكب وأقمارها،حتى تاريخ كتابة الكتاب.

في حديث الكاتب عن مستقبلنا في الفضاء،كمكانٍ للسكنى،أو للسيطرة..آثر الحديث عن أخلاقياتنا على الأرض،، وكيف أنها أضرت بنا"كنوع" وأضرت بالأنواع الأخرى.. وبالأرض ذاتها.. وكيف لنا أن نُستأمن على الكواكب الأخرى ؟!!

تحدث عن أنه "يجب علينا" كأمة أرضية واحدة.. أن نتحد إن فكرنا يوماً باستعمار الفضاء..لئلا ننقل الحروب إلى هناك..

حتى أنه،في عرضه لحل بعض المشكل
Daniel Villines
Mar 19, 2013 Daniel Villines rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Daniel by: Jamie, but by osmosis.
It's been my experience that people express themselves best when they are discussing the most exciting aspects of their lives. Give me an inch of enthusiasm for engineering and I can throw back a mile's worth of discussion regarding hydrology, hydraulics, and past projects. By opening Pale Blue Dot, the reader might as well be asking Sagan about his career as a scientist. And unlike engineering, Sagan's career has been amazing.

For most inquisitors, and probably to the discouragement of Sagan, hi
I miss Carl Sagan. I really do.

There are no shortage of brilliant scientists out there, imaginative and innovative people who are dedicated to the advancement of science and the betterment of the human race.

The difference between Sagan and the rest of them is that he was able to make it beautiful. When he talked, you could feel his excitement, his joy at knowing that there was a wonderful universe out there, waiting for us to discover it. In his most famous work, Cosmos, he introduced the wonder
Pale Blue Dot was Carl's last book, written while he was battling cancer and published after his death. Sagan was responsible for having NASA rotate a Voyager spacecraft (as it was leaving the solar system) and photograph the planets, including of course the Earth, which was appeared as a pale blue dot.
I think Carl Sagan is a must read for any person who wants to be educated. Carl was a true Renascence Man, and his best gift ( of many) was teaching us about perspective. Perspective makes us wis
Anamaria Tkanc
This marvelously written book is perfect for people who want to know more about space and time.
Carl Sagan in a unique, simple but beautiful and poetic way explains some subjects that some people might have find odifficult to understand.I've read few books about space in general, but they weren't even close to this one and without any fear I can tell that this book is my favourite so far.
Max Maxwell
Jan 18, 2010 Max Maxwell rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everybody; should be taught in schools
Recommended to Max by: I was just interested in it
For the general part of this brief review, I should say that I think that this book was way ahead of its time. Some people will object to this, call it just another pop-sci book, and move on, decrying the science in it for already being out of date, a mere 15 years after publication. "Obsolescence," however, "is a fate devoutly to be wished," reminds Stephen Jay Gould. So what if some of this science is old hat? The vast, and I mean that, vast, majority of Sagan's predictions are already fact, e ...more
Христо Блажев
Бледа синя точица – всичко, което имаме и което трябва обезателно да напуснем:

Без напускане на планетата, цивилизацията ни е обречена. Сейгън е посветил цяла глава на космическото насилие, което съпътства Слънчевата система от създаването й (пореден добър довод срещу креационизма) и на който неминуемо Земята ще се окаже жертва рано или късно. Няма връщане назад към природата, няма отказ от технологиите – рано или късно голям астериод ще нацели планетата
ميسرة الهادي
أنا عندي تعليق طويل ينقسم لثلاث نقاط..

أولا: عن الكتاب

الكتاب شديد الإمتاع، في البداية تخيلته فلسفيا في المقام الأول وكان كذلك في أول فصوله، ثم انتقل بأسلوب لطيف جدا لأمور شديدة التعقيد والتنظير والأكاديمية العلمية في علوم الفلك، جولة شديدة الإمتاع في عوالم أخرى ملهمة ومبهرة وكئيبة في الوقت نفسه، هذا العلم الطاغي لم يضايقني نظرًا لاهتمامي المسبق بعلوم الفلك ونظرًا لدراستي العلمية، لكنه قد يضايق آخرين بطبيعة الحال، الكتاب مبهر ويصقل الروح والتجربة، وهو خطوة مرحلية في قراءاتي لا أنكرها.

ثانيا: عن ا
Kevin Cecil
Sagan spends the first part of PALE BLUE DOT reminding us of the insignificance of Earth and it's denizens within the enormity of our universe. The second part looks at what we've done to expand our existence beyond one planet, with special attention to the Voyager missions. The third part becomes more speculative, acknowledging that the Sun and Earth are not infinite. That, if we want to survive, we will eventually - in about 7 billon years - have to leave Earth if we don't want to get swallowe ...more
Ali imanzade
به آن نقطه بار دیگر نگاه کنید. آنجاست. آنجا خانه است. ما

هر کسی که دوست داریم ، هر کسی را که میشناسیم ، هر کسی که از
او تا به حال شنیدهایم ، هر انسانی که تا به حال زیسته است ، روی همین نقطه به سر
برده است.

مجموع همه خوشیها و رنجهای ما ، هزاران آموزه اقتصادی ،
ایدئولوژی و مذاهب دلگرمکننده ، هر شکارچی و کاوشگری ، هر قهرمان و ترسویی ، هر
آفریننده و نابودکننده تمدنی ، هر شاه و رعیتی ، هر زوج جوان عاشقی ، هر کودک
امیدواری ، هر مادر و پدری ، هر مخترع و مکتشفی ، هر معلم اخلاقی ، هر سیاستمدار
فاسدی ، هر
Nicolas Ward
I don't think I have come across any other science writer who can equal Carl Sagan's reverent awe for the wonders of nature, and mankind's humble place in the universe. This book does not disappoint. My first exposure to it was in fact a sort of poem version of large chunks of the first chapter, read by Sagan, that I encountered in a YouTube video. It's a beautiful poem, and several parts of the book evoke that message. I think this derives from Sagan's respect for religious belief even as he ha ...more
From Publishers Weekly

In a tour of our solar system, galaxy and beyond, Cornell astronomer Sagan meshes a history of astronomical discovery, a cogent brief for space exploration and an overview of life-from its origins in the oceans to humanity's first emergence to a projected future where humans "terraform" and settle other planets and asteroids, Earth having long been swallowed by the sun. Maintaining that such relocation is inevitable, the author further argues that planetary science is of

Trevor Denton
The late astrophysicist and science advocate Carl Sagan, also an incidental existentialist, states a powerful case for humane behavior and global awareness.

This nonfiction masterpiece begins by pointing out the ramifications of the "pale blue dot" photograph taken by the Voyager in 1990, from a further distance than had ever before been seen. He logically speculates about the futility of wars over religious differences, land, extreme nationalism, and political conflict, when it comes to the bigg
Carl Sagan has a wonderful ability to share his passion for science and the natural world. He's an excellent writer, and does a very good job of making astronomy accessible without dumbing it down.

Reading this took me back to my childhood and the wonder I felt when I thought about the natural world (universe) and how incredible it is. It also reminded me that science can be fun, regardless of how dull most schooling makes it. A wonderful book, and I would highly recommend it to EVERYONE.

My onl
Charlie George
Carl Sagan at the top of his game. In addition to being a poetic, soulful discussion of the history and future of space exploration, this may be the finest collection of astronomy-related photography I've encountered. Sagan being perhaps the most capable and well-known science advocate of his time, it is not surprising that the book doubles as a forcefully persuasive argument for the expansion of said exploration. The most obvious reason is to alleviate the threat posed by asteroid collision, bu ...more
خولة عبدالرحمن
لو نظرنا إلى الغلاف العربي لما تشجعنا أبداً لقراءته، غلاف كئيب
أما الترجمة جيدة واستوعبت الشرح العلمي مع الخواطر التأملية للكاتب
لم أكن يوماً متحمسة لقراءة كتاب فلكي حتى قرأت اقتباساً لكارل ساجان" أعطاني تليسكوباً وجعلني أنظر إلى مدىٰ ضآلتي وسط هذه النقطة الزرقاء الباهتة

استمتعت بالملحق أكثر من القراءة
Joshua Woodbury
The first part of this book really bugged me. Sagan explains how ridiculous it is for humans to believe that we have a purpose. That is just part of egocentric human nature trying to put itself at the center of the universe. I mean, people once thought the sun rotated around the earth. That wasn't true, so it logically follows that there is no designer to the universe.

I don't care that he holds his beliefs, I just do not see what spending so much time on them had to do with our future of space
Optimistic, awe inspiring, all the things that Sagan was over the years through his accessible and popular works are all on display here, which includes superb photography and art work throughout. The title says it all, our perception of how small we are in the vastness of the cosmos isn't a frightening concept, but rather something exciting in terms of the possibilities that Sagan clearly embraces. A human future indeed.

I loved this book for stirring my imagination, engaging fascinations that I
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in 1934, scientist Carl Sagan was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. After earning bachelor and master's degrees at Cornell, Sagan earned a double doctorate at the University of Chicago in 1960. He became professor of astronomy and space science and director of the Laboratory for Planetary Studies at Cornell University, and co-founder of the Planetary Society. A great popularizer of science, Sagan produced th ...more
More about Carl Sagan...
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“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.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.”
“How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, “This is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant?” Instead they say, “No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way.” A religion, old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the Universe as revealed by modern science might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths.” 365 likes
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