i like this photo. It is mostly a cheesy computer generated image that nerds like to put on their background. But there is something cool about it. It shows the moment, the very peak, of a change that is global in scale. It seems our notion of policial separateness is based on the number of sentient organisms we are aware of. There have been a lot of great stories in movies (Armageddon) and TV (SciFi's Battlestar Galactica) about a menacing force that affects the whole planet. If something did come up to earth in a big ship, would middle easterners forget about their war? would the US be less concerned with patrolling its borders? What if they were friendly?
Also I think the photo says that technological breakthrough can change our daily lives. The first moment a human makes contact with or even verifies the existance of intelligent life somewhere else, what a change that will make in our thinking about our place in the universe.