The Poetic Clarity of That ‘Pale Blue Dot’

Through Photography, Science Has Given Humanity a Sense of Itself

When the Voyager 1 space probe was launched in 1977, it was equipped with a camera to chronicle its travels through the cosmos. One of the images that astronomer Carl Sagan hoped the probe would capture was that of Earth as the probe left the confines of our solar system, leaving our little planet, a “pale blue dot,” behind. Sagan thought this image of a barely visible Earth could help humanity more precisely understand our place in a vast and endless universe. “There is perhaps no better demonstration of …

Can Muscle Cars Really Fly? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Can Muscle Cars Really Fly?

Matthew Porter’s Photographs of an American Symbol Conjure Dreamlike Worlds

Muscle cars are a quintessential American symbol: fast, powerful, and entirely impractical. But perhaps it’s their impracticability that makes these gas-guzzling, aggressively loud vehicles coveted by so many. Having a …

Chasing the Sun’s Medicinal Rays | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Chasing the Sun’s Medicinal Rays

At the Turn of the 20th Century, Southern California Became a Testing Ground for Healthy Living

Southern California has long attracted those seeking a mild climate, a healthy lifestyle, and sunshine. According to Lyra Kilston, author of Sun Seekers: The Cure of California, the origins of …

Are Horses ‘God’s Most Perfect Design’?

Keith Carter’s Enigmatic Photographs Reveal the Invisible Bonds Between Humans and Animals

Keith Carter began to take his own pictures after he happened upon one of his mother’s color prints when he was 19. His mother made her living as a studio …

A Disquieting Look at Life Around the Caspian Sea

Photographer Chloe Dewe Mathews Captures the Geography of the Land and the Practices That Connect People to It

The Caspian Sea is the world’s largest inland body of water, nestled between Europe and Asia, and surrounded by five countries: Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan. Through history, the …

Dawoud Bey’s Unwavering Candor

The Chicago-Based Photographer’s Portraits Chronicle the American Experience

To understand how the past 40 years have revolutionized the way we see cities, look at the first and last chapters of a new book on the long and distinguished …