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.
Astronauts Ron Garan, Rusty Schweikart, Edgar Mitchell, Tom Jones, Scott Kelly, James Irwin, Mike Massimino and Chris Hadfield are all reported to have experienced the effect. Third-party observers of these individuals may also report a noticeable difference in attitude.
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- Albert A. Harrison (1 April 2007). Starstruck: Cosmic Visions in Science, Religion, and Folklore. Berghahn Books. pp. 92–. ISBN 978-1-84545-286-5. Retrieved 9 February 2013.
- Douglas A. Vakoch. On Orbit and Beyond. Springer. pp. 10–. ISBN 978-3-642-30583-2. Retrieved 9 February 2013.
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- Yaden, David B.; Iwry, Jonathan; Slack, Kelley J.; Eichstaedt, Johannes C.; Zhao, Yukun; Vaillant, George E.; Newberg, Andrew B. (2016). "The overview effect: Awe and self-transcendent experience in space flight". Psychology of Consciousness: Theory, Research, and Practice. 3 (1): 1–11. doi:10.1037/cns0000086. ISSN 2326-5531.
- TEDx Talks (2012-01-18), TedxVienna - Ron Garan - The Orbital Perspective of Our Fragile Oasis, retrieved 2018-03-17
- Feloni, Richard (19 March 2018). "NASA astronaut Scott Kelly explains how seeing planet Earth from space changed his perspective on life". Business Insider. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
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