This important day goes back 41 years. I celebrated the first one on the National Mall. I grew up in Washington, DC (within the city limits). I rode my bicycle down to the Earth Day event wearing a sign that read “Pedals Don’t Pollute.” (The o was the ecology symbol, a circle with an equator.) Back then, every one was deeply concerned about pollution. There were a little over 3 Billion humans around. Now, we are concerned about pollution all right, but we’ve got Climate Change and almost 7 Billion people on Earth. As a species, we’ve got enormous challenges ahead.
The difficulties before us make space exploration that much more important. We have to understand our world as a planet -- a planet that can be compared with other planets. Although they our closest neighbors, alighting on Mars or Venus would kill you in a few seconds. By understanding winds, weather, and climates on other worlds, we will better understand our own.
Take a moment today and consider that our Earth is precious, barely a grain of sand in the cosmic scheme of things. Yet, everyone you will ever meet came from our small world. Today, let’s all ponder and appreciate our place in space.
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Earth! A Spectacular "Blue Marble"
Image by Reto Stöckli (land surface, shallow water, clouds). Enhancements by Robert Simmon (ocean color, compositing, 3D globes, animation). Data and technical support: MODIS Land Group; MODIS Science Data Support Team; MODIS Atmosphere Group; MODIS Ocean Group Additional data: USGS EROS Data Center (topography); USGS Terrestrial Remote Sensing Flagstaff Field Center (Antarctica); Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (city lights). This spectacular "blue marble" image is the most detailed true-color view of Earth ever published.