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From Earth with love

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“Valentine’s Day has struck once more,” tweeted ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet when he posted this picture of a heart-shaped lake in Mongolia. Thomas took this picture from the Worldwide Area Station throughout his Proxima mission in 2017.

Two years on, it’s that point of 12 months once more, the day that brings some pleasure and others nervousness. But when ideas of ordering flowers and making dinner reservations are stressing you out, spare a thought for our stressed-out Earth.

The truth that Earth is wealthy in wildlife is with out query, however our planet is altering quick – notably as a result of human exercise is inserting strain on pure assets.

Growing industrial manufacturing and a continued reliance on fossil fuels is inflicting international temperatures to rise. With a change in local weather comes large environmental challenges that people won’t be able to maintain up with.

We have to verify the standing of our relationship with Earth earlier than we wreck it. How?

Step one to fixing an issue is to know the causes and full extent of it. The vantage level of area supplies a window on the world like no different, by way of which to know and monitor our altering planet.

And Earth-observing satellites will not be the one instruments to do that. Astronauts are additionally viewing Earth from area and taking photos. Their images isn’t just a perk of being an astronaut; they’re usually used to complement satellite tv for pc imagery and supply a distinct perspective.

Take the case of ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen. He was tasked with capturing a phenomenon notoriously tough to from Earth: elusive electrical discharges within the higher environment that sport names equivalent to purple sprites, blue jets, pixies and elves. Reported by pilots, they’re tough to review as they happen above thunderstorms. (A devoted instrument known as ASIM has since been launched to the Area Station to watch this phenomenon).

Apart from their worth to science, astronaut images from area are an incredible software for science communication. From the very first photographs of Earth taken by NASA astronauts within the 1960s that confirmed the world how fragile Earth is, to those like this taken by astronauts and posted to social media, all of them drive house an vital message:

Love our planet, as a result of it’s the solely house we’ve got.

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