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

4.32  ·  Rating Details ·  19,195 Ratings  ·  605 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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Christopher Griffen "Cosmos," as I remember it, is a rather scientific guide to astronomy and planetology. "Pale Blue Dot" has a much broader scope and a great deal more…more"Cosmos," as I remember it, is a rather scientific guide to astronomy and planetology. "Pale Blue Dot" has a much broader scope and a great deal more exploratory topics. From terraforming to the future of humanity as a species. I think it makes a nice companion to "Cosmos."(less)

Community Reviews

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Stian
Sep 12, 2015 Stian rated it it was amazing
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, when I was around sixteen or so, something happened that changed my life drastically. I discovered Carl Sagan.

I still remember buying Cosmos, unpacking it, starting it, and turning the volume up to the max. I watched all the episodes in a day: I couldn't stop. And then
...more
Huda Yahya
Jan 10, 2016 Huda Yahya rated it really liked it

من تلك البقعة البعيدة الممتازة قد لا تبدو لكوكب الأرض أي أهمية خاصة ولكن بالنسبة لنا يختلف الأمر. انظر مرة أخرى إلى هذه النقطة. إنه هناك: الوطن. ها نحن. عليها يوجد كل من تحبه، كل من تعرفه، كل من سمعت عنه، كل إنسان كان موجودا في أي وقت. إن جميع أفراحنا ومعاناتنا، وآلاف الأديان والأيديولوچيات والمذاهب الاقتصادية الواثقة، كل قناص أو مغير، كل بطل أو جبان، كل مبدع أو مدمر للحضارة، كل ملك أو فلاح، كل شاب وفتاة متحابين، كل أم وكل أب، كل طفل واعد، كل سياسي فاسد، كل "نجم لامع" من نجوم الفن، كل "قائد أع
...more
Ben
Sep 30, 2008 Ben rated it really liked it
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.
Roy Lotz
Jun 15, 2016 Roy Lotz rated it really liked it
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
...more
Chris Friend
Nov 07, 2007 Chris Friend rated it it was amazing
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
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
...more
Joshua
Aug 21, 2007 Joshua rated it it was amazing
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
Jamie
Aug 05, 2010 Jamie rated it it was amazing
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.
Kurt
Apr 12, 2011 Kurt rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, science
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
...more
S.Baqer Al-Meshqab
Jan 21, 2016 S.Baqer Al-Meshqab rated it really liked it
The entire Earth is but a point, and the place of our own habitation but a minute corner of it.
—MARCUS AURELIUS, ROMAN EMPEROR

The is my first packed-with-information book, ever. One might think that it is a pure scientific text which goes on and on about facts and numbers and laws and whatsoever that can drag the soul out of you - not denying that it isn't - but seriously, look at the title - A Pale Blue Dot - isn't poetic enough? As the writer suggests "Knowing how things work doesn't make them
...more
John
Aug 26, 2012 John rated it liked it
Shelves: science
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
...more
Alej
Jan 04, 2014 Alej rated it did not like it
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
Shafaet Ashraf
Sep 07, 2014 Shafaet Ashraf rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Eti
Jan 15, 2016 Eti rated it it was amazing
You can read full review here

Wow! this book is just wow. I remember, in 2014 I watched this short film called Wanderers, and you know I loved it. I have read few more books by Carl Sagan, but I got to know about this book after watching this video.


And after reading this book, I can say that it was my favorite book of the year 2015 and I'm very happy that I ended my year with this book.

If I talk about Carl Sagan, do you know what separate him or distinguish him from other brilliant people out th
...more
Naomi
Sep 03, 2012 Naomi rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, science
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
...more
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
...more
Bipul Roy
May 08, 2012 Bipul Roy rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Chris
Feb 09, 2008 Chris rated it really liked it
Shelves: science
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
...more
Христо Блажев
Бледа синя точица – всичко, което имаме и което трябва обезателно да напуснем: http://knigolandia.info/book-review/b...

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
...more
Daniel Villines
Mar 19, 2013 Daniel Villines rated it really liked it
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
...more
Cheylianie
Aug 04, 2016 Cheylianie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: carl-sagan-reads
“The Cosmos extends, for all practical purposes, forever. Our remote descendants, safely arrayed on many worlds throughout the Solar System and beyond, will be unified by their common heritage, by their regard for their home planet, and by the knowledge that, whatever other life may be, the only humans in all the Universe come from Earth.” —Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space

A very enjoyable and exciting read. Essential for any Carl Sagan fan, and a must-read for any
...more
Anamaria Tkanc
May 22, 2013 Anamaria Tkanc rated it it was amazing
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.
Molly
May 30, 2013 Molly rated it really liked it
Marvelous look at what humanity can achieve if we put our minds to it. This book should be read by every lawmaker and statesperson in the world, and by every high school student looking to their future career.
ade_reads
Nov 05, 2016 ade_reads rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The title of the book, Pale Blue Dot, was taken from the instantly infamous Pale Blue Dot photograph taken by Voyager 1 in 1990. The back story to that image is worth describing before actually talking about the book itself.

Here is the image,

description

Can you see Earth? Can you see our tiny little Earth? Look harder. There, ‘suspended in a sunbeam,’ is a tiny pale blue dot.

This is what Sagan had to say:

From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it’s
...more
وائل عبدالرحمن قريطم
- من الممتع والمفيد جداً قراءة الكتب مرة أخرى، كنت قد قرأت منذ عامين تقريباً كتاب" كوكب الأرض : نقطة زرقاء باهتة "لـ كارل ساجان، وعدت لقراءته مرة أخرى للمتعة أولاً، وثانياً لثبات وتذكر إدراك الحقيقة الكونية ...
في المرة الأولى التي قرأته فيها حلمت بساجان وكان أفضل شىء حدث لي على الإطلاق في هذا العام، كان حلماً لكنني مؤمن تماماً بحقيقته ! فقد ذهبت برفقة العظيم كارل ساجان إلى رحلة لسطح القمر ومن ثم بناءً على طلبي ذهبنا إلى المشترى المُبهج المتألق وأقماره ، لم نستقل سفينة فضائية أو شىء من هذا القبي
...more
Stefany GG
Carl Sagan es, sin duda, uno de los más grandes comunicadores de ciencia de todos los tiempos. Es mucho su legado y mucho lo que nos enseña. Esta es la segunda vez que lo leo y sigue siendo alucinante y esclarecedor. Es difícil de describir el impacto que tienen en mí cada una de sus obras.
Una lectura obligada para cualquier persona que quiere una perspectiva diferente y educada. Su promoción de la ciencia nos contagia con su visión y no nada más científicamente hablando sino también a ser mejo
...more
Benjamin Atkinson
To say Carl Sagan is under-rated is probably a stretch for most people; not me. He is one of the most rare of intellectuals; a genius who is grounded and can explain incredibly complicated concepts in simple language without losing information. He is a humane man that does not denigrate others beliefs while strongly espousing his own. Pale Blue Dot is once again very deep but incredibly simple. The farther we go out in space to photograph the planet we all share the signifcance the smaller it ap ...more
Мартин Касабов
Бледа синя точица: http://izumen.blogspot.com/2014/03/bl...

Броени дни преди премиерата на "Космос" по National Geographic... (drum roll)... "Бледа синя точица", от Карл Сейгън

Книга, отчайващо важна и необходима, която ще ви отведе на разходка из познатия космос, която ще насочи камерата към тази бледа, синя точица, към този малък пиксел, наречен Земя и ще ви прошепне "Това е тук". И всичко, което човек може да направи е да замълчи за момент, да потръпне от мащаба на Вселената и най-после да допу
...more
Steve Granger
Aug 26, 2016 Steve Granger rated it it was amazing
Carl Sagan stirs within his readers a passion to adventure and learn, to never stop being curious, and to ultimately reach for the stars. When you listen to the ramblings of dreamers and wanderers about galavanting over the universe, you can't help but be skeptical. But having the benefit of hindsight, it is amazing to have seen so many of Sagan's ideas come to reality. It was as though I was reading a manual for explorers from 1994 to present day. This has to have been by far my favourite book ...more
Sheng Peng
Feb 16, 2016 Sheng Peng rated it really liked it
Ever since I read the Astronomy volume of the 100,000 whys series, I've been enamored of the dark nightly sky and all the literally unearthly objects somewhere up there. If hiking up a mountain makes one feel small and impressed by the sublimity of massive things, then the realization and contemplation of these massive massive balls of fire and metal, of astronomical dimensions and masses, will do no less than sending a thrill down one's spine.

Read more astronomy and be less of a country bumpkin
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Bad Astronomy: Misconceptions and Misuses Revealed, from Astrology to the Moon Landing "Hoax"
  • Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder
  • Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier
  • The Case for Mars: The Plan to Settle the Red Planet and Why We Must
  • Carl Sagan: A Life in the Cosmos
  • Wonders of the Universe
  • Coming of Age in the Milky Way
  • The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality
  • Six Easy Pieces: Essentials of Physics By Its Most Brilliant Teacher
  • Collider: The Search for the World's Smallest Particles
  • The Universe in a Nutshell
  • Parallel Worlds: A Journey Through Creation, Higher Dimensions, and the Future of the Cosmos
  • Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History
  • The Day the Universe Changed: How Galileo's Telescope Changed the Truth
  • Flim-Flam!
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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
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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.”
3206 likes
“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.” 470 likes
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