Our Beautiful Earth

 

 

The image highlights the Ganges delta, in Bangladesh and India. This image was created by combining three Envisat Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar acquisitions made of the same area. The colours in the image result from variations in the surface that occurred between acquisitions. Image Courtesy: European Space Agency

The image highlights the Ganges delta, in Bangladesh and India. This image was created by combining three Envisat Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar acquisitions made of the same area. The colours in the image result from variations in the surface that occurred between acquisitions. Image Courtesy: European Space Agency

Our insatiable hunger to explore has allowed us to cross through several frontiers. With advancements, we have also seen planet earth from space. Supriya Joshi takes a peek into the complexities and intricacies of the planet we call home.

The late astrophysicist Carl Sagan once wrote an iconic piece of work called Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space, inspired by the photograph of the same name. The photo was made in 1990 by the Voyager 1 space probe and it features the earth photographed from six billion kilometers away. Against the infinite space, planet earth features as a mere fraction of a pixel.

The rolling hills of a farmland in the northwest United States are pictured here. The area is an agricultural zone and produces wheat and legumes, and the landscape has sometimes been compared to Tuscany in Italy. Image Courtesy: Korea Aerospace Research Institute / European Space Agency

The rolling hills of a farmland in the northwest United States are pictured here. The area is an agricultural zone and produces wheat and legumes, and the landscape has sometimes been compared to Tuscany in Italy. Image Courtesy: Korea Aerospace Research Institute / European Space Agency

But for this fraction of a pixel, Sagan said, “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 civilisation, 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.”

The Kompsat-2 satellite captured this image of the sand seas of the Namib Desert. The blue and white area is the dry river bed of the Tsauchab. Image Courtesy: Korea Aerospace Research Institute / European Space Agency

The Kompsat-2 satellite captured this image of the sand seas of the Namib Desert. The blue and white area is the dry river bed of the Tsauchab. Image Courtesy: Korea Aerospace Research Institute / European Space Agency

However, if you take a closer look, you will realise how beautiful earth. Space agencies like European Space Agency (ESA) have been meticulously documenting planet earth. While the purpose of their study is scientific, for photography lovers, each image is a veritable treat. They get us that much closer to understanding the enigma that is our home, our planet earth.

The golden curving patterns in this photo is Dasht-e Kavir, central northern Iran’s salt desert. Here, the clay and sand soil have a high surface salt content because of the concentration of minerals from high summer evaporation. Image Courtesy: European Space Imaging

The golden curving patterns in this photo is Dasht-e Kavir, central northern Iran’s salt desert. Here, the clay and sand soil have a high surface salt content because of the concentration of minerals from high summer evaporation. Image Courtesy: European Space Imaging

 

View all the stunning images from ESA’s collection on http://bit.ly/1pZ8see

Tags: Aerial Photography, ESA, European Space Agency, space