This remarkably complete view of Earth at night is a composite of cloud-free, nighttime images. The images were collected during April and October 2012 by the Suomi-NPP satellite from polar orbit about 824 kilometers (512 miles) above the surface using its Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS). VIIRS offers greatly improved resolution and sensitivity compared to past global nightlight detecting instrumentation on DMSP satellites. It also has advantages compared to cameras on the International Space Station, passing over the same point on Earth every two or three days while Suomi-NPP passes over the same point twice a day at about 1:30am and 1:30pm local time. Easy to recognize here, city lights identify major population centers, tracking the effects of human activity and influence across the globe. That makesnighttime images of our fair planet among the most interesting and important views from space.
In 2009 Guy Laliberté, founder of Cirque du Soleil, became the first Canadian tourist in space. GAIA, his exhibition of photographs taken from the ISS, is currently on display at the Distillery in Toronto (right outside my office) and the images are stunning.
10 Amazing Less Known Natural Wonders
01 Socotra archipelago in Indian Ocean - Home of the Dragons Blood Trees.
02 Salar de Uyuni (or Salar de Tunupa) in Bolivia - The world’s largest salt flat.
03 Sossusvlei in Namibia
04 Zhangjiajie, China - Real life Pandora with 800 meters tall sandstone pillars.
05 The Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park, the 3rd largest in the world.
06 Great Blue Hole in Belize Barrier Reef - One of the largest coral reefs in the world.
07 Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve on Madagascar - A unique nature reserve.
08 Fly Geyser - a very little known geothermal geyser.
09 The Door to Hell (Derweze) in Turkmenistan - A huge open burning gas deposit.
10 Richat Structure in Mauritania - a mysterious circular feature in the Sahara desert.
+ More Nature!
Philippine Capital Under Water, New Zealand Volcano Erupts
Torrential rain is causing devastating flooding in the Philippines, while a New Zealand volcano erupts for the first time in 115 years. Rare snow was flying in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Good night everybody. And if there’s an Apocalypse, Good Luck.
Der Himmel feuert zurück! Auf den Test eines leistungsstarken Lasers antwortet die Natur mit ihrer eigenen spektakulären Lightshow.
Mehr dazu: www.spektrumdirekt.de/artikel/1122424
(Bild: Martin Kornmesser / ESO)
OK: The sky fires back! (with) the test of a new laser, nature answers with it’s own spectacular light show :)
Dark Sky Island
The gorgeous Isle of Sark, the smallest self-governing island in Europe, is located in the English channel 130 miles off the southern English coast. In January 2011 it became the world’s first “Dark Sky island” by controlling light pollution. The island’s single electricity source is an oil-fired power station, and there are no cars, streetlights or even paved roads: you can only get around by bike, horse, carriage or tractor-drawn bus. Due to the lack of light pollution, the Milky Way stretches gloriously overhead—from horizon to horizon across the pristine black sky.
The Top 10 Reasons I Love Volcanoes (And You Should, Too)
By Erik Klemetti on Wired
Read about Erik’s top 10 reasons for loving volcanoes. The list for his top ten include:
10. They erupt molten rock.
9. They’ve captured the imagination of man since, well, forever.
8. Volcanic features might have been the cradle of life itself on Earth.
7. Volcanoes are highly destructive on both small and large scale, but also make the land more fertile.
6. Crystals found in lava can tell you about thousands (or more) years of magmatism under a volcano.
5. Volcanoes are found all over the solar system.
4. You can find evidence of eruptions in every corner of the world.
3. A single volcanic eruption can stop modern society in its tracks.
2. Volcanoes helped forge the Earth – the land itself, the oceans and the atmosphere.
1. They erupt molten rock! Did I mention that?
“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: A Vision of the Human Future in Space
People have become significant earth movers, outpacing all sources of natural erosion. More and more of our footprint can be seen from space in many forms, including cities, reservoirs, agriculture and deforestation. Among the most impressive human scars on the planet are open-pit mines.
Thirty nine years ago today one of the most famous images of the planet earth was taken by either Harrison Schmitt or Ron Evans of the Apollo 17 crew. It was a photo that would define an era and give a new appreciation world wide for both the space program and the small connected orb human live on. The etymology of the word earth is complex, so I wil quote directly from www.etymonline.com:
Old English eorþe ground, soil, dry land, also used (along with middangeard) for the (material) world (as opposed to the heavens or the underworld), from Proto Germanic *ertho (cf. O.Fris. erthe “earth,” O.S. ertha, O.N. jörð, M.Du. eerde, Du. aarde, O.H.G. erda, Ger. Erde, Goth. airþa), from PIE base *er- “earth, ground” (cf. M.Ir. -ert “earth”). The earth considered as a planet was so called from c.1400.
Original Caption: “View of the Earth as seen by the Apollo 17 crew traveling toward the moon. This translunar coast photograph extends from the Mediterranean Sea area to the Antarctica south polar ice cap. This is the first time the Apollo trajectory made it possible to photograph the south polar ice cap. Note the heavy cloud cover in the Southern Hemisphere. Almost the entire coastline of Africa is clearly visible. The Arabian Peninsula can be seen at the northeastern edge of Africa. The large island off the coast of Africa is Madagascar. The Asian mainland is on the horizon toward the northeast.”