The 42nd edition of the World Earth Day on April 22 was an opportunity to raise again the Terrans to the beauty and fragility of their planet, which one becomes more aware from space.
See in video the Blue Planet (with many other colors) seen by the Russian satellite Electro-L. © Russian Federal Space Agency / James Drake / YouTube
Since the first Earth Day in 1970, countries increasingly are mobilizing to try to preserve our planet from harm of human activity. Access to space allows us to take another look at our Earth and to observe the rapid changes which man is causing such as deforestation, pollution, global warming and melting ice are some of the phenomena which satellites allow us to track the extent and development.
This is from the images provided by the Russian weather satellite Elektro-L James Drake made a video showing the Earth from space. Launched in January 2011, Electro-L is a craft of 1.7 tonnes which is expected to provide images for a decade. At 40,000 km above our heads, The Electro-photography of entire globe to each of its passages in the wavelengths of visible and infrared (the latter is reflected by forests and vegetation that we see by orange images whose resolution varies from 1 to 4 km).
Earth from the Moon also
If the images provided by meteorological satellites provide information on the condition of the Blue Planet, those made by humans in space are also emotionally charged. December 24, 1968, Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and William Anders were the first humans to witness a rise of Earth above the lunar horizon from the capsule of Apollo 8. The images they brought back from that extraordinary moment inspired the imagination of millions of people who became aware for the first time the beauty and fragility of our planet view from the Moon.
But James Drake isn’t the only one making beautiful images of our little home.
Rob Simmon, NASA’s Earth Observatory art director describes the work he and NASA scientist Gene Feldman do to create their “Blue Marble” images and videos at Ira Flatow’s Science Fridays.