Celebrate Earth Day with NASA

Posted by Korey Haynes
on Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Last year on Earth Day, NASA asked you to take a selfie and share it with the world. They used more than 36,000 of the 50,000 images shared to create the mosaic above. // NASA
At the congressional budget hearing on April 16, NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden had to repeatedly defend his organization’s mission to perform cutting-edge science not just in aeronautics and space exploration, as the agency’s name makes clear, but also across all four research areas the science mission directorate is expected to cover: astrophysics, planetary physics, heliophysics, and Earth science.

That last branch (incidentally the one for which Bolden came under particular fire) is especially relevant today, April 22, which is Earth Day. Much of the most vital information about our ever-evolving planet is best collected from above, and no one does satellites and remote sensing better than NASA. They share this information with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Geologic Survey, and several other agencies — but if the data came from space, it's most likely that NASA had a hand in it. And astronomers also need information about our home planet! The only way we'll ever understand alien atmospheres or exoplanet oceans is to study our own in as much detail as possible.

Also during the hearings last week, Bolden called Earth his “favorite planet,” and with good reason. Despite exciting discoveries on Mars, Ganymede, Enceladus, and even outside our solar system, Earth remains the only planet we know to support life. It's worth a little love. So NASA is asking you to take part in Earth Day by sharing your own photos and observations of our home on Facebook, Google+, Flickr, and wherever else you spend time online, using the hashtag #NoPlaceLikeHome. You can keep track of the full collection of events by checking out www.nasa.gov/likehome. Take a minute to celebrate our planet today, and maybe spare some appreciation for the agency doing its best to keep us informed and up to date about the only home we've got.

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