Regardless of how much mankind succeeds or fails in attempts to explore the farthest outreaches of space, we should all sit back and admire the view of our own planet, is the objective NASA underlined today when it tweeted photos of sweeping aerial views "from burning lava fields in Iceland, to converging rivers in Brazil, salt lake beds in Australia, and fog buried in snow-capped mountains." The photo-essays, part of a book called 'Earth' by NASA's Earth Science Division, take a look back at our "blue marble," of which there remains "much to see and explore," according to the website.
"We measure particles, gases, energy, and fluids moving in, on, and around Earth. And like artists, we study the light-how it bounces, reflects, refracts, and gets absorbed and changed," writes Michael Carlowicz, the Managing Editor of NASA's Earth Observatory, in the foreword of the book.
The images tell the story of a 4.5-billion-year-old planet, Mr Carlowicz contends, adding that there "is always something new to see" about the "land, wind, water, ice and air as they can only be viewed from above."
In the tweet, NASA shares a link to the foreword and beautiful aerial snaps of the Earth along with quotes of authors, philosopher, scientists and poets, who have, across different time periods, admired the beauty of the Earth.
Sit back and take a birds eye journey around the world, from burning lava fields in Iceland, to converging rivers in Brazil, salt lake beds in Australia, and fog buried in snow-capped mountains of Vancouver. Sink in: https://t.co/crTJ75IQ3zpic.twitter.com/wMkk8CZtyQ- NASA (@NASA) February 24, 2019
Among the many breath-taking photographs, 'Earth' includes the "curving cloud streets" of Brazil and Bolivia, the "glorious view" of the Pacific Ocean, "punching holes in the sky" of the United States, "riding the waves" of Mauritiana, "tracing the coast" of China, the "Holuhraun Lava Field" of Iceland among many more.
Citing the launch of Explorer 1 sixty years ago, NASA's 'Earth' also acknowledges the advancement of the science and technology which made it possible to lend credence to the appreciation of the planet by its many poets and philosophers.
'Earth' appropriately cites TS Eliot in an attempt to get its point across.
"We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time," says the quote from TS Eliot, an extract from his poem, 'Little Gidding'.