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Paper: Looking Homeward Toward Earth: The Power of Perspective
Volume: 457, Connecting People to Science
Page: 5
Authors: Abdalati, W.
Abstract: With the 1968 “Earthrise” image of planet Earth emerging from beyond the lunar horizon, society's view of our celestial home was changed forever. Beautiful and vulnerable, and suspended in dark stillness, this image inspired an appreciation that we are one human race, whose fate hinges delicately on our collective actions. Since that time, space-based observations of the Earth have continued to provide essential insights and information across the full spectrum of human activities and natural processes, and have even become a mainstream part of our daily lives. From documenting disappearing Arctic ice cover, to providing key insights to hurricane evolution, to tracking the amount of movement and cycles of Earth's biomass, these observations allow us to understand how and why our world is changing, and what these changes mean for life on Earth. But beyond their tremendous scientific value, they can be a powerful and inspiring tool for generating a true appreciation of the complexities and beauty of the world in which we live. From that iconic Earthrise photograph to the viral popularity of event-based satellite imagery, the power of the space-based perspective satisfies our need for constant and current information, and fuels our emotional connection to the planet we call home.
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