Happy Earth Day!

 Wikipedia Commons 9 97 The Earth Seen From Apollo 17
Here's the Blue Marble, on December 7, 1972. From NASA:
View of the Earth as seen by the Apollo 17 crew traveling toward the moon. This translunar coast photograph extends from the Mediterranean Sea area to the Antarctica south polar ice cap. This is the first time the Apollo trajectory made it possible to photograph the south polar ice cap. Note the heavy cloud cover in the Southern Hemisphere. Almost the entire coastline of Africa is clearly visible. The Arabian Peninsula can be seen at the northeastern edge of Africa. The large island off the coast of Africa is Madagascar. The Asian mainland is on the horizon toward the northeast."


  1. Okay, I don’t get it. Why switch from the original image to the upside-down one? You had it in its original orientation when I visited this site this morning, and now you’ve flipped it around. Why? Is it so terrible having Antarctica on top?

  2. That’s not Earth! That’s our planet! Did none of you watch the finale of documentary series Battlestar Galactica to catch that little documented fact? And you call yourself geeks! Happy New Earth Day!

  3. It saddens me that people’s geography knowledge is so poor that NASA would feel the need to tell them what Madagascar is!!

  4. I teach high school geography. Show ten of my students that picture and eight of them won’t be able to ID a single feature…and that’s at the end of the course.

    Either my students can’t learn or I’m a total failure. Probably a combination of the two.

    Capt’n Squiffy

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