Today is an Earth Day unlike the prior 49 Earth Days. For the first time in its 50-year history, the streets are free of large gatherings and there are no rock clubs hosting benefit concerts. For most participants, the organized walk out of schools and workplaces to join others in solidarity for the protection of our planet has become more of a lonely stroll away from the computer out into the front yard.
But like Mother Nature herself, Earth Day presses on. Despite the coronavirus, or perhaps in spite of it, global celebrations of conservation have moved online. NASA is hosting what might be the most epic of them all: a 50-year timelapse of the earth that showcases how its satellites have been used to document and raise awareness of weather patterns, ozone levels, Landsat images, and more. The result is a stunning panorama of modern environmental science, and a testament to the hard work of the agency’s scientists, astronauts, and staff.
The video features the famous 1968 Earthrise photo taken from Apollo 8, and moves through the subsequent decades highlighting major developments complemented by stunning images.
“As the world prepares to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, NASA reflects on how the continued growth of its fleet of Earth-observing satellites has sharpened our view of the planet’s climate, atmosphere, land, polar regions and oceans,” the agency said in a statement.
We recommend watching the video before marching outside in solitary solidarity — if only because it will make staring up at the sky that much more engaging.