Growing up, my TV diet was a staple of Star Trek and nature documentaries. I only grew more fascinated with our place in the universe when I delved into Physics, dabbling in polar research and astrophysics as an undergraduate intern. The beauty of this planet hasn’t been lost on me. Yet, I breathe it anew when I come across data visualizations like this. It’s a personal project by Cameron Beccario @cambecc, who’s fed in direct NASA data feeds into his extrapolated model of this Earth, here.
See the jetstreams flowing round at 250 hectoPascals of atmospheric pressure (roughly 10,000 m high), and observe just how our polar regions help cool down the rest of the planet.
As Carl Sagan, astronomer-philosopher-writer, best said it:
Consider again 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.
There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.
Turn the Earth round and round, play with the wind, water and weather, and marvel at how mesmerizing this planet we live on really is.