COSMOS: Pale Blue Dot

COSMOS: Pale Blue Dot

Preserve and cherish the pale blue dot.

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"Carl Edward Sagan (/ˈseɪɡən/; November 9, 1934 – December 20, 1996) was an American astronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist, author, science popularizer, and science communicator in astronomy and other natural sciences." (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Sagan)

He correctly predicted methane lakes existing on Saturn's largest moon, Titan. He directly inspired astrophysicists like Neil deGrasse Tyson to go deeper still into the mysteries of the Universe. He sent the first messages from earth into space. One message being a golden record containing the various music, languages, and sounds of the earth. The other is a plaque depicting two hydrogen atoms, our species, our location in regard to the Galaxy and the 14 pulsars, our Solar System, and a silhouette of the Pioneer space craft, drawn to scale to convey the actual size of our species. How would an alien lifeform understand our message? It's written in the language of Science. If an alien understands space travel, then they must understand Science. Therefore, they will understand the scientific notations describing who and where we are in the Universe.


'Pioneer Plaque'planetary.org

Carl Sagan was a pioneer, an influencer, a genius. He wanted to spread the unfathomable wonder of the Universe to each and everyone one of us. In a way, he did, whether we realize it or not. His famous excerpt, 'Pale Blue Dot', was inspired by its accompanying photograph, seen below. As the Voyager 1 space probe completed its mission and was leaving the Solar System, Carl Sagan requested it take one last photo of Earth before escaping from view.

'Pale Blue Dot' is a reminder of how minuscule we are in comparison to the observable Universe. We are one tiny planet, revolving around one medium-sized star, in a galaxy containing around 250 billion other stars, in a cluster of 47,000 other galaxies, with 10 million other clusters just like it. Let's assume those numbers are exact and each galaxy and cluster are identical. In that case, we are approximately 1 out of 11,750,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000- a tiny blue pixel in the Universe. Coming to this realization humbles our perceived self-importance and reminds us that so far, this little planet is all we've got. It prompts us to cherish this incredibly random chance at life we have, to cherish each other, and to "cherish the pale blue dot."


PALE BLUE DOT

'Pale Blue Dot'Voyager 1

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 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. 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.
Our posturing's, 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.

-Carl Sagan

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12 Bible Verses For Faith In Hard Times

Remind yourself that God is always with you.
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Lately, I have felt lost at what God wants for my life. Ever since I've come back to UWG everything has been horrible. It seems that I can't catch a break. I'm trying my best to focus on school, work, and extracurricular activities. But it's hard when I'm having issues with my apartment/roommates and knowing my family back home is struggling and needs many prayers. All, I keep thinking is maybe Carrollton isn't where I belong anymore. I've asked God if He can guide me in the right direction. Below, I have found Bible verses that have helped get me through these rough, past couple of weeks.

1. Isaiah 43:2

"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you."

2. Psalm 37:5

"Commit your way to the Lord. Trust in Him, and He will act."

3. Romans 8:18

"The pain that you've been feeling, can't compare to the joy that's coming."

4. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed in strength, and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future."

5. Joshua 1:9

"Be bold. Be brave. Be courageous."

6. Ecclesiastes 3:1

"There is a time for everything and a reason for every activity under the heavens."

7. Isaiah 41:10

"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."

8. Isaiah 66:9

"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord."

9. Psalm 91:4

"He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings, you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."

10. Psalm 62:1-2

"My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from Him, He alone is my rock and my salvation."

11. Philippians 4:13

"I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength."

12. Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Cover Image Credit: pixabay.com

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Faithfulness Is Like The Clouds

God's faithfulness in our lives reaches higher than the clouds - that's pretty far.

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Psalms 36:5 "Your love Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies."

As I look out of the window in the airplane, I see the sun covering everything in its sight. And as I watch the sun cover the earth, I can feel the peace of God being to settle into my heart. We lift off the ground and I know His faithfulness travels with me wherever I go.

Something that I've learned in 2018 is that Gods' plan for my life is never late. He didn't messily throw my life together in 5 minutes, nor was He unwavering in the details of my life. He very cautiously knit together every moment of my life, even when I didn't understand why He chose to do what He did.

Over the past five months, I have been more aware of Gods faithfulness in my life than I have been in a very long time.

To make this story short, I did not grow up surrounded by extended family like most people I know. And while God has still been so good to me in my years growing up, I still had the small void in my heart that yearned for something more. Something that I had prayed to God in secret many times, but never intended to do anything about it.

This past summer I watched as God took that very desire of my heart and beautifully unravel them before my eyes in a plan that has been so intricately put together for years, but He chose to reveal it to me now. I watched as He taught me how to trust Him with everything in me, not just bits and pieces of me. I watched God reintroduce me into what it means to be proud of my culture and ethnicity in new and fresh ways. The dry and barren place of my heart that I felt could never see these promises that God had for me were beginning to come to life.

He gave me joy. Joy in people and in places that I lived 20 years without, but God knew one day He would surround me with. As I sat in the midst of conversations and togetherness, I was reminded that this was the very thing that I had prayed to God for so many years.

Our prayers are not insignificant to God. He holds every single one of them close.

So many times in my life I have asked God to just help me to understand what He's doing in my life. To just tell me why He's doing the things that He's doing. And so many more times after that, I have God remind me that maybe I'm not supposed to understand. Maybe I'm supposed to just let everything in me fall at His feet the same way that Mary did with Jesus. Maybe I'm supposed to constantly trust Him with every second of my life, even when I don't know the next step.

God never stops teaching me about His faithfulness, and I hope he never does stop. I hope in 2019 He brings me to places of growing more in what it means to invest in relationships, to speak into other lives about His goodness in mine. One significant thing that I learned recently is that Gods promises for our lives are never meant to run out. Just like His faithfulness in our lives are never meant to only happen for a few months. It is never ending and always secure. In Hebrews 10:23, It says "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful."

..."For He who promised is faithful"

What a beautiful truth to know and to carry with us into this new year.

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