Photos: Earth images from NASA (PHOTOS)
By IB Times Staff Reporter | Apr 23, 2011 07:07 PM EDT
Earth Day, which is celebrated each year on April 22, is a day to promote awareness and appreciation for the Earth's environment. It was founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-Wisconsin) as an environmental teach-in in 1970 and is celebrated in many countries every year.
At present, Earth Day is observed in 175 countries, and coordinated by the nonprofit Earth Day Network. The passage of the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act are considered to be products associated with the 1970 Earth Day.
Earth Day is the annual celebration of the environment and a time to assess the work still needed to protect the natural gifts of our planet. It affirms that environmental awareness is part of our consciousness and that the idea of protecting the environment has moved into the mainstream.
In 2011, Earth Day's theme is "A Billion Acts of Green." In honor of the Earth Day, Internet search engine Google Inc. has created an animated doodle depicting Earth as a green planet with flora and fauna, clear water and blue sky. Ticklish pandas, frolicking penguins, a growling lion, a cascading waterfall, waterfall climbing fish, a fish devouring bear, birds, butterflies, a koala and a jumping frog get together on the Google doodle.
"On this Earth Day, it is time for us to lay a new foundation for economic growth by beginning a new era of energy exploration in America," President Barack Obama said Wednesday, according to remarks prepared for delivery in Newton, Iowa, where he traveled to mark Earth Day and tour a former Maytag plant that is now used to produce towers for wind-energy production.
Earth Day is every day at NASA. NASA's Earth Science Mission seeks to understand Earth's systems and their responses to natural and anthropogenic (human-made) changes.
A fleet of satellites in NASA's Earth Observing System gives scientists the global, long-term measurements they need to connect the atmosphere (air), lithosphere (land), hydrosphere (water), cryosphere (snow/ice), and biosphere (life) as a single system.
This image from Apollo 17, and others like it, captured whole hemispheres of water, land and weather. This photo was the first view of the south polar ice cap. Almost the entire coastline of Africa is visible, along with the Arabian Peninsula.Source: NASA Date:04/23/2011
This composite image, which has become a popular poster, shows a global view of Earth at night, compiled from over 400 satellite images. NASA researchers have used these images of nighttime lights to study weather around urban areas.Source: NASA Date:04/23/2011
This picture of the Earth and Moon in a single frame was taken by the Galileo spacecraft from about 3.9 million miles away. Antarctica is visible through clouds (bottom). The Moon's far side is seen; the shadowy indentation in the dawn terminator is the south pole Aitken Basin, one of the largest and oldest lunar impact features.Source: NASA Date:04/23/2011
NASA's mission has always been to explore, to discover and to understand the world in which we live from the unique vantage point of space, and to share our newly gained perspectives with the public. That spirit of sharing remains true today as NASA operates 18 of the most advanced Earth-observing satellites ever built, helping scientists make some of the most detailed observations ever made of our world.Source: NASA Date:04/23/2011
The United Nation’s weather agency, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), has released a report that suggests the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a record high in 2010. The report particularly noted the levels of nitrous oxide.Source: NASA Date:07/05/2012
The Antarctic ozone hole reached its annual maximum on Sept. 12, 2008, stretching over 27 million square kilometers, or 10.5 million square miles. The area is calculated using data from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument on NASA's Aura satellite. This is considered a "moderately large" ozone hole, according to NASA atmospheric scientist, Paul Newman.Source: NASA Date:09/23/2011
The Space Shuttle Endeavour's robotic arm hovers over Earth's horizon, backdropped by a starburst from the Sun. This photo was taken during the STS-77 shuttle mission in 1996.Source: NASA Date:04/23/2011
This image shows the abundance of life in the sea, measured by the SeaWiFS instrument aboard the Seastar satellite. Dark blue represents warmer areas where there is little life due to lack of nutrients, and greens and reds represent cooler nutrient-rich areas. The nutrient-rich areas include coastal regions where cold water rises from the sea floor bringing nutrients along and areas at the mouths of rivers where the rivers have brought nutrients into the ocean from the land.Source: NASA Date:04/23/2011