Photos of Earth taken from space will leave you awestruck

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"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, "Pale Blue Dot"

Astronomer and author Carl Sagan helped put the grand scale of the Earth into perspective with his 1994 book, "Pale Blue Dot."

He based his account off of a tiny image of our planet captured by a spacecraft billions of miles away. Since then, some of the astronauts lucky enough to float a few hundred miles above our world have taken that outsider's perspective a step further with pictures that capture the planet's myriad of landscapes.

Astronaut Ron Garan was one of those lucky few, and has described the experience of gazing back at Earth from orbit as "meditative." Even a captivating view like one a tourist might catch atop the Empire State Building or at the Grand Canyon can't truly compare, Garan explained during a recent visit to AOL Build.

"It's this unfolding beautiful tapestry of colors and lights and motion and it's just an amazing experience," he said.

Astronaut Ron Garan Talks On 'Planetary'
Astronaut Ron Garan Talks On 'Planetary'

While they may not fully capture moving tapestry, the photos in the gallery above represent some of the most stellar and inspiring images of our planet that can only be taken from a distance.

Check out some of the most colorful places on Earth in the gallery below:

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