The overview effect is a cognitive shift in awareness reported by some astronauts during spaceflight, often while viewing the Earth from outer space.

It is the experience of seeing firsthand the reality of the Earth in space, which is immediately understood to be a tiny, fragile ball of life, “hanging in the void”, shielded and nourished by a paper-thin atmosphere. From space, national boundaries vanish, the conflicts that divide people become less important, and the need to create a planetary society with the united will to protect this “pale blue dot” becomes both obvious and imperative.

The term and concept were coined in 1987 by Frank White, who explored the theme in his book The Overview Effect — Space Exploration and Human Evolution

After astronaut Rusty Schweickart looked down on Earth from space for the first time, he described a sense of awe that has become common to almost every space traveler since:

“You realize that on that little blue and white thing there is everything that means anything to you, all history and music and poetry and art and death and birth and love, all of it on that little spot out there you can cover with your thumb.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overview_effect


Tags
space

Date
January 1, 2020