The Earth From High Up

by posted April 24, 2012 category Wonders

 

Yesterday was Earth Day, a time set aside to increase awareness of the natural environment and the impact of our collective actions. In honor of Earth Day, gathered here is a collection of scenes of our home planet from above, from vantage points we don’t see in everyday life. These scenes help show the Earth as a larger system and demonstrate the extent to which human activity has affected it. [39 photos]

 

A view of Earth, the stars, and red and green auroras above cities in western North America, as seen from the International Space Station, on February 19, 2012. (NASA)

 

 

Rows of houses near the London 2012 Olympic Park in London, England, on March 27, 2012. (Reuters/Stefan Wermuth)

 

Australia's Lady Elliot Island, seen on January 14, 2012. Lady Elliot Island is one of the three island resorts in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The island of approximately 100 acres lies 46 nautical miles north-east of the Queensland town of Bundaberg and is the southern-most coral cay of the Great Barrier Reef. (Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

 

Pine forests near the central Bosnian town of Vlasic covered by snow in winter, on February 9, 2012. (Reuters/Dado Ruvic)

 

An illegal oil refining site with runoff from crude oil covering the banks along the Imo river, 30 km (20 miles) west of Nigeria's oil hub city of Port Harcourt, on September 22, 2011. (Reuters/Akintunde Akinleye)

 

The Beachy Head lighthouse, near Eastbourne, England, on September 1, 2011. Trinity House, which is responsible for the lighthouse, has said that the it will not be repainted in its distinctive red and white stripes because it is no longer required as a daymark.(Reuters/Luke MacGregor)

 

Residents on a boat navigate down a flooded farm in the municipality of Cajica near Bogota, on May 21, 2011. (Reuters/John Vizcaino)

 

A view of Petare shantytown, east of Caracas, Venezuela, taken on February 15, 2012. (Leo Ramirez/AFP/Getty Images)

 

A view of lower Manhattan just before sunset in New York, on August 24, 2011. (Reuters/Lucas Jackson)

 

An aerial view from a medevac helicopter shows vehicle pathways in a desert area of Helmand province, Afghanistan, on November 8, 2011. (Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty Images)

 

Moscow, Russia appears at the center of this nighttime image photographed by one of the Expedition 30 crew members aboard the International Space Station, on March 28, 2012. A solar array panel for the space station is on the left side of the frame. The view is to the north-northwest. On the horizon in the background can be seen a small sample of Aurora Borealis, airglow and daybreak. (NASA)

 

 

Heard Island, an Australian territory in the Indian Ocean, dominated by Mawson Peak, a 2,745 m (9,000 ft) high volcano. The uninhabited island is among one of the most remote on Earth, halfway between Africa and Australia, and 1,609 km (1,000 mi) north of Antarctica. Photographed by the crew of the International Space Station on November 24, 2011. (NASA)

 

Tents of Muslim pilgrims spread among roads and pathways in Mina, Soudia Arabia, where they gathered for the Hajj on November 7, 2011. (Reuters/Ammar Awad)

 

An inflatable dinghy in a flood-affected field in the French southeastern town of Roquebrune-sur-Argens, France, on November 7, 2011. (Boris Horvat/AFP/Getty Images)

 

Mont-Saint-Michel, a tourist attraction and UNESCO world heritage site in northwestern France, seen on February 2, 2012. (Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/Getty Images)

 

Ice floes along the Kamchatka coastline are featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 30 crew member on the International Space Station, on March 15, 2012. As ice floes grind against each other, they produce smaller floes that can be moved by wind and water currents acting along the coastline. The irregular southeastern coastline of Kamchatka helps to produce large circular eddy currents from the main southwestward-flowing Kamchatka current. (NASA)

 

Ice sheets float on the river Oder at the German-Polish border in Ratzdorf, Germany, on February 10, 2012. (Patrick Pleul/AFP/Getty Images)

 

The Thematic Mapper on NASA's Landsat 5 satellite captured this image of Vancouver, British Columbia, on September 7, 2011. Flowing through braided channels, the Fraser River meanders toward the sea, emptying through multiple outlets. (NASA Earth Observatory image created by Robert Simmon and Jesse Alle)

 

Seasonal asparagus harvesters work on their vegetable crops near Elsholz, Germany, in this photo taken on April 17, 2012. (AP Photo/dapd, Klaus-Dietmar Gabbert)

 

Workers coordinate to harvest soybeans on a farm in the city of Tangara da Serra, Brazil, on March 27, 2012. (Reuters/Paulo Whitaker)

 

A firefighting helicopter can be seen (top left) hovering over a lake, refilling to fight a portion of the Schultz Fire as it burned approximately five miles north of Flagstaff, Arizona, on June 22, 2010. (Image courtesy of GeoEye)

 

Tropical Cyclone Funso, observed by MODIS on NASA's Aqua satellite, on January 26, 2012. The storm went on to affect Mozambique and Malawi, causing floods and claiming some 40 lives. (NASA, Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team)

 

A fisherman in floodwaters in Ayutthaya province, north of Bangkok, on November 19, 2011. (Pornchai Kittiwongsakul/AFP/Getty Images)

 

 

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