Seeing Earth from Space creates a cognitive shift of awareness


Source: Flickr, Wiki, Space Quotes, Earth Quotes

There is a phenomenon known as the overview effect many astronauts experience. After seeing the earth from space they are often overwhelmed with a cognitive shift of awareness.

We truly are are all one, we are all connected and part of the human consciousness, each of us making up a small part.

Once a photograph of the Earth, taken from the outside, is available, a new idea as powerful as any in history will be let loose. — attributed to Sir Fred Hoyle, 1948.

This feeling is seeing earth so small from so far away. It is our little blue marble, our home just sitting out in space in the middle of no where. Most astronauts say it is the most profound experience of their life. Nothing can compare.

You can imagine being there but until you are out there you wont actual “feel” it as strong.

The feeling can be described as a sense of mental awareness of togetherness. We really are so small in the universe.

You are sitting out in space, floating surrounded by a hostile environment. Its negative 200 degrees out. You are so far away from home. Your body starts to tingle a little and your thought process is shut down for a moment.

In that moment you feel totally “in” your body. You can feel every cell. Your breath is slow. Your body feels weightless. Your mind is mentally aware now more than ever. You see our small planet and all the problems of the world melt away.

One could argue this view could help us realize we are all together in this. The belief is that we are all part of the global consciousness. Someday we will all see this view I hope.

In the spirit form we could be able to freely travel beyond what we can now comprehend.

In a meditation session this would be a good exercise to practice. Try to visualize the earth and how you would feel given the opportunity. Let’s hope one day, we could all feel the serenity it could bring.


“As we got further and further away, it [the Earth] diminished in size. Finally it shrank to the size of a marble, the most beautiful you can imagine. That beautiful, warm, living object looked so fragile, so delicate, that if you touched it with a finger it would crumble and fall apart. Seeing this has to change a man.” — James B. Irwin, Apollo Astronaut

When you’re finally up at the moon looking back on earth, all those differences and nationalistic traits are pretty well going to blend, and you’re going to get a concept that maybe this really is one world and why the hell can’t we learn to live together like decent people.

— Frank Borman, Apollo 8, Newsweek magazine, 23 December 1968.

It’s tiny out there…it’s inconsequential. It’s ironic that we had come to study the Moon and it was really discovering the Earth. — Bill Anders, Apollo 8, quoted in the 2008 Discovery TV series When We Left Earth.

“The world itself looks cleaner and so much more beautiful. Maybe we can make it that way—the way God intended it to be—by giving everybody that new perspective from out in space.” — Roger B Chaffee, NASA Astronaut

“Oddly enough the overriding sensation I got looking at the earth was, my god that little thing is so fragile out there.” — Mike Collins, Apollo 11 Astronaut

“For the first time in my life I saw the horizon as a curved line. It was accentuated by a thin seam of dark blue light—our atmosphere. Obviously this was not the ocean of air I had been told it was so many times in my life. I was terrified by its fragile appearance.” — Ulf Merbold, ESA Astronaut

“Now I know why I’m here. Not for a closer look at the moon, but to look back at our home, the Earth.” — Alfred Worden, Apollo Astronaut

“It’s beyond imagination until you actually get up and see it and experience it and feel it.” — Willie McCool, Space Shuttle Astronaut

“To fly in space is to see the reality of Earth, alone. The experience changed my life and my attitude toward life itself. I am one of the lucky ones.” — Roberta Bondar, Neurologist and Space Shuttle Astronaut

It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, very small. — Neil Armstrong.

If somebody’d said before the flight, “Are you going to get carried away looking at the earth from the moon?” I would have say, “No, no way.” But yet when I first looked back at the earth, standing on the moon, I cried. — Alan Shepard

“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.” — Carl Sagan, Astronomer

A Chinese tale tells of some men sent to harm a young girl who, upon seeing her beauty, become her protectors rather than her violators. That’s how I felt seeing the Earth for the first time. I could not help but love and cherish her. —  Taylor Wang

We went to the Moon as technicians; we returned as humanitarians. — Edgar Mitchell