Star Letter 004: Earth Day is Every Damn DayApril 23, 2018
“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 (1934-1996)
“Turn the Spacecraft Around, Let’s Take a Selfie”
On February 14th, 1990, while soaring through the cosmos at about 40,000 miles per hour, the Voyager 1 spacecraft celebrated its long journey as the farthest man-made object from Earth by snapping the iconic Pale Blue Dot photograph.
At a record 3.7 billion miles away, astronomer Carl Sagan asked NASA to reposition the probe’s camera towards Earth to reveal a truth about our world and ourselves—that we are just a tiny part of a larger universe and maybe even part of a larger community.
The Galápagos Islands Are Incredibly Beautiful from Space Too
“The Enchanted Islands of Ecuador – the Galápagos,” were photographed by NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold, currently aboard the International Space Station with the Expedition 55 crew. This view from more than 200 miles above our Earth shows the cloud-covered Galápagos Islands and sunglint in the waters off the coast of Ecuador on April 13, 2018, as the station orbited above the Pacific Ocean.
Awkward New Website Shows How Bad We Messed Up the Planet
A new website, EarthTime, aims to shows how humans have dramatically changed the planet — such as how glaciers are melting and where refugees are migrating — through time-lapse satellite photos.
The site’s interactive maps use images taken by NASA satellites from 1984 to 2016, overlaid with over 300 geospatial data sets from the World Bank, Berkeley Earth and WWF, among others.
You Can Creep on Earth Anytime With the DSCOVR: EPIC Satellite
The Deep Space Climate Observatory, or DSCOVR, will maintain the nation’s real-time solar wind monitoring capabilities which are critical to the accuracy and lead time of NOAA’s space weather alerts and forecasts. Without timely and accurate warnings, space weather events like the geomagnetic storms caused by changes in solar wind have the potential to disrupt nearly every major public infrastructure system, including power grids, telecommunications, aviation and GPS.
Elon Musk is Building a Spaceship in Los Angeles So He Can Build a City on Mars With Much Less Traffic
SpaceX has called the Port of Los Angeles home to our west coast recovery operations since 2012 and we truly appreciate the City of Los Angeles’ continues partnership,” said SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell. “As announced today by Mayor Garcetti, the Port will play an increasingly important role in our mission to help make humanity multi-planetary as SpaceX begins production development of BFR––our next generation rocket and spaceship system capable of carrying crew and cargo to the Moon, Mars and beyond.”
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