Seeing the earth from a distance has changed my perception of the solar system as well. Ever since Copernicus’ theory (that the earth was a satellite of the sun, instead of vice versa) gained wide acceptance, men have considered it an irrefutable truth; yet I submit that we still cling emotionally to the pre-Copernican, or Ptolemaic, notion that the earth is the center of everything. The sun comes up at dawn and goes down at dusk, right? Or as the radio commercial describes sunset: ‘When the sun just goes away from the sky …’ Baloney. The sun doesn’t rise or fall: it doesn’t move, it just sits there, and we rotate in front of it. … Everyone knows that, but I really see it now. No longer do I drive down a highway and wish the blinding sun would set; instead I wish we could speed up our rotation a bit and wing around into the shadows more quickly. I do not have to force myself to call this image to mind; it is there, and occasionally, I use it for other things, although admittedly I have to stretch a bit. ‘What a pretty day’ makes me think that it’s always a pretty day somewhere; if not here, then we just happen to be standing in the wrong place. ‘My watch is fast’ translated into no, it’s not, it’s just that you should be standing farther to the east.
— Astronaut Michael Collins, Carrying the Fire, 1975