NASA celebrates Earth’s beauty by releasing splendid photographs of our planet

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NASA is celebrating the Earth Day and as part of its celebration has released some of the most gorgeous photographs of our planet ever taken from the International Space Station. The US space agency has also released a video to mark the occasion.

As part of its Earth Day programme, the US space agency is asking people for videos, messages, Instagram pictures celebrating our world, with the hashtag #NoPlaceLikeHome.

In the image gallery celebrating Earth Day, you can see a composite image of southern Africa and the surrounding oceans to the tropical cyclone Joalane seen over the Indian Ocean.

On April 5 this year, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired a natural-colour image of sea ice off the coast of East Antarctica’s Princess Astrid Coast.

Next day, NASA astronaut Scott Kelly took a stunning photograph over Australia and posted it to social media.

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NASA’s Terra satellite also captured the March 20 solar eclipse’s shadow over clouds in the Arctic Ocean.

From the ISS, Expedition 42 Flight Engineer Barry Wilmore took a photograph of the Great Lakes and central US on December 7 last year and posted it on social media.

The NASA video features dramatic visual comparisons of parts of the Earth most severely impacted by climate change, including the Aral sea visibly shrinking between 2000 and 2014.

It also features photographs of areas impacted by extreme weather, such as partially submerged islands in Bermuda.

“Every day of every year, NASA satellites provide useful data about our home planet, and along the way, some beautiful images as well,” NASA posted in the video.

The clip was released on the “Earth Day” as NASA plans to focus attention on “exploring” our home planet — the most “complex” of the 1,800 planets discovered in our cosmos so far.

It is this complexity that challenges the Earth scientists as they seek to figure out how the whole planet works as a system.

“Earth has oceans, forests, deserts, ice sheets, rain, snow, an atmosphere. And we have life. These are some of the things that NASA’s 20 Earth-orbiting missions observe and measure in our quest to build the most complete understanding possible of our dynamic planet,” the US space agency said.

The space agency has a Facebook page dedicated to the #NoPlaceLikeHome project and also provides full coverage on its redesigned web site.