The Blue Marble

The Blue Marble: Earth, as seen from Apollo 17.

On December 7, 1972, the crew of the final Apollo mission to the Moon—Apollo 17—captured the beautiful image of our planet. Known as the Blue Marble photo, it still stands as one of the best pictures of the entire globe. Satellites in normal orbits, including the Space Shuttle and International Space Station, are too close to take the whole planet in view, so only craft traveling farther can see all of it. We live on a beautiful planet. As we commemorate the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, we should also remember the wonder of our world and work together to ensure the survival and health of its inhabitants.


3 responses to “The Blue Marble”

  1. […] the blue marble hanging in space – which was taken nearly 40 years ago today. Thanks to Galileo’s Pendulum for the tip. Our Earth as seen by Apollo 17. Photo credit: NASA GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); […]

  2. Moisés C.D. Marcón Rosado Avatar
    Moisés C.D. Marcón Rosado

    I think that in regards of the impact this picture has on those who see it there is a sense of disattachment that in the same time brings our collective consciousness to realize something quite intriguing and difficult to asses. I shouldn`t speak in plural here… let me clarify this. The picture shows what it shows, a planet, our planet, the one and only planet we have inhabited; now, it also shows an image of it, only that, the other part of the abstraction comes from trust in science and the actual trek the Apollo 17 crew made. That leaves us with just the image, the abstraction made into a photo that is true in the sense that it was truly taken from outer-space by a human being. That`s half of the truth, the other half is the one that lies within those astronauts that took the picture, the people that stood in front, first-row-seat, of the spectacle. That other half says so much more, yet, it can only be perceived individually, and, if hard work pays, and we can be bestowed the honor of going out there to see it for ourselves.

    I can only imagine what it must have been like, as the majority of us can, and that`s why this magnificent story-telling-picture haven`t had the impact it could on every single human being on the planet it shows -because, for most of us, it is still only an abstraction of the real thing. Perhaps one day we might be able to thrust ourselves without much effort to open-space and actually see the Blue Marble that it is our beautiful planet. Until then, and hopefully in the process, we can only work hard on keeping it as pristine as possible so that when we finally go up-there it`ll still look as magnificent as the picture shows.

    Keep up the great work Mr. Pendulum. I`ve had quite a rough few weeks, which have kept me from react with a dolly comment on here, yet I`ve kept in touch with the reading part of the deal and it has been splendid. Thanks.

  3. […] Well, relatively speaking. From our perspective, it isn’t smooth at all: the bumps and creases, the heights and depths are large on our scale. Because of the crushing pressures, a human being is not capable of going to the bottom of the Mariana Trench at the current time, and climbing Everest is still a major investment of energy with huge risks to life and health. Yet compared to the curvature of Earth, Everest and Mariana, the Andes and the deep Atlantic, all the mountains and valleys are tiny wrinkles, smaller than the imperfections of a billiard ball. The Earth’s radius is about 6,400 kilometers, so the difference between the height of Everest to the depth of Mariana is about 0.3% of that. We do indeed live on a blue marble. […]

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