This past Earth Day will be remembered as “Global Selfie Day” by many. Through compiling over 30,000 individual “selfies” of people from all around the world, NASA created a mosaic of the Earth. This year was marked in history as the year that NASA was able to capture an image of the entire Planet Earth from outer space. These images were used in creating the 3.2 billion pixel mosaic that would reflect the way that the Earth appeared from space on Earth Day. NASA’s goal was to promote environmental awareness as well as build recognition for their efforts in protecting the planet. In achieving this goal they came up with a creative and interactive method which was to produce an image of the planet “from the ground up” while also developing a collection of photographs of the people of world.
NASA started this worldwide event with the simple question, “Where are you on Earth Right Now?”
They asked that individuals either print a sign from NASA’s website or create their own with their location written on it. Also, they requested that people step outside and take a picture with the Earth’s natural features such as mountains, parks and lakes. Five social media websites were used in completing NASA’s mission. Photos were posted to Twitter, Instagram and Google with the hashtag #Global Selfie, or posted on the #Global Selfie event page on Facebook or on the #Global Selfie group on Flickr.
People from every continent and over 113 countries all around the world took part in this global event, all the way from Antarctica to Pakistan and over 50,000 images were tagged. About a month later on May 22, the “Global Selfie” image was completed and allows users the option of zooming into the mosaic and looking at all of the individual photos.
Peg Luce who is the Deputy Director of the Earth Science Division in the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters, Washington, stated that they were overcome with the participation of people from all around the world. She also expressed her gratitude towards all of the individuals who took the time to be a part of this project in celebrating Earth Day and stated her hopes of everyone making the efforts to take good care of the planet.
The year 2014 has and will mark great milestones for NASA Earth Science. They have started a campaign called Earth Right Now which the Earth Day Global Selfie was a part of. The campaign is summed up a few simple words, “Your planet is changing. We’re on it.” They are expecting to launch several Earth Science missions in just this year alone which has not been done in over a decade. In February was the launch of a joint mission between the Global Precipitation Measurement Observatory and Japan’s agency of Aerospace Exploration. An upcoming launch is scheduled to take place in July with another following in November. In addition, NASA will be launching two Earth Science instruments to the International Space Station. The information that results of these missions will provide scientists with important data that will allow them to better understand the changes the planet is going through.
By: Sarah Temori