Space has always inspired the human imagination. We’ve always been curious as to what lies out there. We’ve begun to explore the space around our planet by sending out satellites and unmanned missions. We’ve sent men to the moon and are getting ready to send them further away to other planets. But as we explore space we are also learning more about our home planet. Over the years some stunning pictures of earth from space have been taken that have given us a different perspective about our place in the universe. Here are the top 10 stunning images of earth taken from space.
10. Far From Home:
This image is of Apollo 17 mission commander Eugene A. Cernan as he adjusts the U.S. Flag on the surface of the moon while the earth can be seen in the background. This picture was taken from the onboard camera of Apollo 17 in 1972 which was the last manned mission to the moon. This is the farthest any human has ever been from our home; the earth.
9. While Chasing a Comet:
This picture was taken by Rosetta, a mission of the European Space Agency to chase Comet67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. This photo was captured during the earth flyby of the mission in March 2005. It was used to calibrate the instruments of the mission on a real space object before it went after the comet.
8. Space Beacon:
This is a recent picture sent back by the Cassini spacecraft taken from a distance of 898,410,414 miles. The earth looks just like any other star in a distance and the moon can be seen as a pale dot below the earth. It is a remarkable picture as the earth looks like a beacon in the middle of space, connecting the spacecraft to us.
7. Light Show:
This image was taken by the Suomi NPP satellite in 2012 over a period of 12 days. It is the image of earth during night and shows bright lights shinning like diamonds on the continental land masses. The lights are strongest in America and Europe and tell the tale of human expansion and the ways in which we have affected the earth.
6. The Blue Marble:
The Blue Marble is a composite image constructed by scientists from data collected by many different sources over a long period of time. When it was released in 2002 it was the most detailed true color image of earth taken from space. Most of the data came from the MODIS device on board the Terra satellite. Data from other sources was also used and painstakingly combined to form this seamless picture.
5. Earth and Moon in the Same Frame:
4. Earth from Mars:
This is the first image of earth ever taken from the surface of another planet. It was taken by Mars Exploration Rover Spirit. The picture looks like sunrise on a very cloudy day. The earth is not visible clearly and has to be zoomed to view the faint image of our home planet.
3. Earth Rise:
This image is of the earth as it rises in the background with the moon surface in the foreground. It looks like the earth is rising like we see sunrise here on earth. It was taken by the Apollo 11 mission in 1969. The mission was the first time humans landed on the moon. The first small step was that of Neil Armstrong as he stepped on the surface of the moon.
2. Crescent Earth:
This image was taken by the Apollo 15 mission. It shows the earth as a crescent shape in the sky above the surface of the moon. The earth looks like the crescent moon that we are so used to seeing from earth. In this role reversal we get a feel of how earth is just a space object like any other. It allows us to appreciate our home in a different light.
1. Pale Blue Dot:
The most famous picture of earth ever taken is the Pale Blue Dot taken by Voyager 1 from a distance of 4 billion miles away. This is a part of the first ever portrait of the solar system formed by 60 frames taken by the spacecraft. Earth from that distance is nothing more than a faint blue dot in the sky. It inspired Carl Sagan’s famous quote about the insignificance of our problems when compared to the size of the universe.