With a fleet of spacecraft orbiting our home planet collecting data on everything from the air we breathe to natural disasters that impact our lives, Earth is always in focus. Join us as we celebrate our home with beautiful views from our unique vantage point of space.
On December 17, 1972, the crew of Apollo 17 snapped this iconic image of planet Earth. Dubbed the Blue Marble, this image was taken as Apollo 17 rocketed toward the moon.
On the way to the moon or from the surface of Mars, our spacecraft have photographed the beauty of Earth from many vantage points. In this image, the most powerful telescope orbiting Mars captured this view of Earth and its moon, showing continent-size detail on the planet and the relative size of the moon. The image combines two separate exposures taken on November 20, 2016, by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on our Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
In this image taken on July 19, 2013, the wide-angle camera on our Cassini spacecraft captured Saturn’s rings and our planet Earth and its moon in the same frame.
Our Suomi-NPP satellite also observed the Earth at night. Earth’s “night lights” often have a gee-whiz curiosity for the public , but have also served as a tool for fundamental research for nearly 25 years. They have provided a broad, beautiful picture, showing how humans have shaped the planet and lit up the darkness.
You can be mesmerized by the constant swirls in these visualizations of ocean currents. The swirling flows of tens of thousands of ocean currents were captured using the largest computations of their kind ever undertaken, using high-end computing resources at our Ames Research Center.
We’ve all seen iconic photographs of Earth shot by astronauts. But even satellites and robotic spacecraft often get in on the act. The above image, called “Pale Blue Dot,” was taken Voyager 1 in February 1990 from a distance of 4 billion miles.
Our satellites do more than take pretty pictures of Earth. They do everything from measure rainfall to observe weather patterns. The ten satellites in the Global Precipitation Measurement Constellation have provided unprecedented information about rain and snow fall across the entire Earth. This visualization shows the constellation in action, taking precipitation measurements underneath the satellite orbits.
In an homage to Apollo 17′s “Blue Marble” image, Suomi-NPP, a joint NASA-NOAA Earth-observing satellite, made this composite image, by making a number of swaths of Earth’s surface on January 4, 2012.
What’s your favorite aspect of planet Earth? These kids have their own ideas. You can even “adopt” parts of the planet. Which one of the 64,000 locations will you get?
Our home planet is constantly changing, which is why our fleet of Earth-observing satellites continuously monitor the globe, recording every moment of what they see. Luckily for us, many of the views are not only deeply informative but also awe-inspiring.
This photograph of the Beast of Yorkshire or the Hull Hell Cat was taken in 2013 but was released in 2016. It is considered to be one of the best photos of an alien big cat in Britain. Lee Clifford, 44, photographed the animal while out on a walk and believes it to be a puma. Clifford stated “I wouldn’t have noticed it usually, but I saw a bit of movement. Then I looked more closely and saw it standing there. I think it was trying to make sure I didn’t see it”. He stated that the cat stayed still for a good 15 seconds before moving on.
In 1976, the Dangerous Wild Animals Act was established which was a “law of the United Kingdom that was originally enacted to deal with the increasing fashion in the late 1960s and early 1970s of people keeping interesting pets which were often from the more dangerousspecies, as well as hybrids between wild and domestic species.” After this was enacted, it was thought that a large number of people just released their pet big cats into the wild instead of shipping them to proper homes, giving them to sanctuaries or putting them down. These species are thought to have been breeding and thriving ever since.
And thus concludes another year of college. That’s probably the most I’ve taken since 2013. Math requirements are all finished. Same with pretty much all of my core requirements. All that’s left is bunch of junior and senior level software engineering classes that I’m going to be stacking up together over the next year. And the year after that will be a lighter year with only my senior project and a couple other classes along side of it. Next fall is the earliest I can start my year-long senior project, so that’s the best I can do. So two years left of college but a year and a half left of work. Full steam aheeeeaaaad
Estefanía from Medellin, Colombia, in 2014. After more than two years I’m back in Latin America with The Atlas of Beauty. I’m now in Montevideo, Uruguay. My next destination will be Brazil. In about 10 months I will publish The Atlas of Beauty book with photos taken from 2013 to 2017, in more than 50 countries.
Feb 7, 2016 - Nancy Luce’s grave, in the West Tisbury Village Cemetery, with some of the chickens, and other things that have been left on it -taken on Oct 30, 2013
Nancy’s one wish was to be buried next to the graves of her beloved chickens on the family farm, but the town didn’t allow it, so over time, stone, porcelin and plastic chickens in particular, have been left on her grave, somewhat mysteriously left though since no one has ever witnessed anyone leaving anything on her grave.
Can US Customs and Border officials search your phone?
Recent detentions and seizures of phones and other material from travelers to the United States have sparked alarm. Below, ProPublica details what powers US Customs and Border Protection officials have over you and your devices.
A NASA scientist heading home to the US said he was detained in January at a Houston airport, where US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers pressured him for access to his work phone and its potentially sensitive contents. Last month, CBP agents checked the identification of passengers leaving a domestic flight at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport during a search for an immigrant with a deportation order. And in October, border agents seized phones and other work-related material from a Canadian photojournalist. They blocked him from entering the US after he refused to unlock the phones, citing his obligation to protect his sources. These and other recentincidents have revived confusion and alarm over what powers border officials actually have and, perhaps more importantly, how to know when they are overstepping their authority.
The unsettling fact is that border officials have long had broad powers — many people just don’t know about them. Border officials, for instance, have search powers that extend 100 air miles inland from any external boundary of the US. That means border agents can stop and question people at fixed checkpoints dozens of miles from US borders. They can also pull over motorists whom they suspect of a crime as part of “roving” border patrol operations.
Sowing even more uneasiness, ambiguity around the agency’s search powers — especially over electronic devices — has persisted for years as courts nationwide address legal challenges raised by travelers, privacy advocates and civil-rights groups. We dug out answers about the current state-of-play when it comes to border searches, along with links to more detailed resources (below).
Original post on the TED-Ed Blog. Click below to read further!