Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Powerful images

Yesterday I heard an interesting talk by TROPOMI PI Pepijn Veefkind. During the talk he shared his emotions about the firsts TOMS total ozone images of Antarctic ozone depletion, that were published when he was 16 years old. The images of the ozone hole revealed quit accurately what was going on and you didn't need to be a scientist to understand them. Similarly, he pointed out, that the OMI NO2 images reveal the "true" pollution situation, e.g., in Europe, China and Eastern United States. And, even if governments don't like the fact, satellites  provide quite objective view about it.

That got me thinking how the Earth observation from space has changed the view we see our planet. One could ask, what was our picture about the Earth before satellites. And how did the first "blue marble" images of Earth changed it? How have the night-time images changed our knowledge? And what else have we learned from the satellite images?

I know, that illustrating the data is not always objective. And often the data are illustrated so that it supports the story. Often this is justified, sometimes maybe not. Anyway, to see more powerful images I recommend NASA's Earth Observatory site. Especially, its "Image of the day"-section.

A powerful image can be found anywhere. Do yourself a favor and go find the originals.


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