The Pale Blue Dot
Syndicated from, Apr 15, 2014

2 minute read


(Quote by Carl Sagan:)

The Pale Blue Dot is a photograph of Earth (click here to see it) taken by the Voyager 1 spacecraft at a distance of 3.7 billion miles away. The spacecraft had completed its primary mission and was passing Saturn, hurtling through space at 40,000 mph. Carl Sagan requested that the spacecraft turn around and take a photo of Earth, not for any scientific purpose, but as a sobering reminder of our planet’s insignificance. The resulting image inspired Sagan to write this now famous and breathtaking passage.

Here’s a clip of Sagan reciting the quote.

I couldn’t think of a better quote to celebrate Zen Pencils 100th comic. I’ve been wanting to adapt it since I started the website, but I knew I needed a decent amount of time to do it justice. Luckily, my recent two week break over the holidays allowed me the time to get a start on it. And I couldn’t think of a better person to feature. Carl Sagan is someone I admire greatly. More than any other writer, Sagan opened my eyes to the wonders of the universe, the beauty of science and the incredible achievements of humanity.

This is a double celebration because besides being the 100th comic, it’s also (kind of) Zen Pencils one-year anniversary! Is it just me, or does it feel like it’s been longer than that? Anyway, here’s to the next 100 comics!

- My previous Sagan comics: Make The Most Of This Life and Books Are Awesome.
- Amazingly, Voyager 1 is still working and sending information back to NASA, 35 years after it launched. It will soon become the first man-made object to leave the solar-system.
- A pretty cool animated version of the quote.
- Can you name all the historic figures I depicted? There was no criteria I used when choosing who to include, just that they had to be recognisable. I know there have been more important people throughout history, but not many people would recognise someone like Tim Berners-Lee.


This above cartoon strip originally appeared on Zen Pencils and is reprinted here with permission from artist Gavin Aung Than. Gavin is a freelance cartoonist based in Melbourne, Australia. After working in the corporate graphic design industry for 8 years he quit to focus on his true passion, drawing cartoons. Gavin launched Zen Pencils at the start of 2012, a cartoon blog which adapts inspirational quotes into comic stories, and hasn’t looked back since.

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