I’ve always found photos of the night sky to be particularly humbling and awe-inspiring. Living in a big city where light-pollution barely allows me to make out the major constellations, photos like these remind me of what a magnificent world we live in, and in the case of these images taken by photographer Royce Bair, that is certainly true.
In these photos we’re reminded how simply stunning our planet and our galaxy are. We have a beautiful home and would be remiss if we didn’t take the time, now and then, to allow ourselves to be awed.
Earlier this year, NASA’s NPP ( National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System Preparatory Project), took a series of images of the earth, which, when stitched together, produced this absolutely stunning image.
We really do have a beautiful home, don’t we? And for an even more incredible view, click here to view the 8000 x 8000 pixel version, it’s well worth it.
I came across this image at Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy blog; the place where I get most of the astronomy photos that I post here. In his post about this image he had this to say,
Apropos of nothing, I’ll note the images making up this seamless mosaic were taken around the same time the Earth was at perihelion, when it was closest to the Sun in its orbit. There is nothing particularly important about that fact, but still… when I see pictures like this I think about how amazing our planet is, and how wonderfully well-adapted we are to it. Evolution is a stochastic process, a semi-random series of bumps and false starts that literally made us who were are today. But that doesn’t change the feeling of comfort I get when I see a picture of Earth, floating in space, sitting in the brightest and warmest sunlight of the year.