Today, we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the most significant environmental event on the planet, established by the United Nations in 1970 to raise awareness of environmental protection. Earth Day 2020 comes at a very difficult time when the governments across the globe are dealing with the global crisis of COVID-19, and one billion-plus people are under lockdown at home. But, we must not forget that the biggest crisis of the 21st century continues to the climate crisis.
The Global lockdown due to coronavirus has allowed our planet Earth to breathe again. The shutdowns of business and travel due to COVID-19 is bringing a drop in the level of greenhouse gas emissions. In Venice, Swans are gliding through the clear canals, blue skies are seen over China where the air is usually choked with smog and in the Indian city of Jalandhar people claim to spot the Himalayan range for the first time in 30 years, which is approximately 250-300 KM away from the city.
As we are celebrating this year’s Earth day virtually at our home instead of doing events and rallies around the world, we have selected some of the fantastic pictures of Earth taken from space to show you the real beauty of our planet. Enjoy!
Ocean Sand, Bahamas
Captured in January 2001, this satellite image shows sand and seaweed beds in the Bahamas, which have been sculpted by tides and currents.
Deserted Venetian Lagoon
These images captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission show one of the effects of the COVID-19 locked-down city in Venice, Italy. The top image, captured 13 April 2020, shows a distinct lack of boat traffic compared to the image from 19 April 2019.
Antarctica Melts Under Its Hottest Days on Record
On February 6, 2020, weather stations recorded the hottest temperature on record for Antarctica. This satellite image shows the view across the melting ice cap of Eagle Island in Antarctica when the region was experiencing a record-breaking temperature of 18 degrees celsius.
Where the Dunes End
This fascinating image shows the abrupt transition of sand dunes giving way to land in Africa’s Namib Desert. It was taken in November 2019 by the Operational Land Imager on the Landsat 8 satellite.
On the morning of 22 June 2019, astronauts on the International Space Station captured this image of a large ash plume rising from Raikoke in the Kuril Islands. The plume reached altitudes of 10-13 km high into the atmosphere. and drifted E during the volcano’s first known explosion in 95 years.
Making Waves in the Andaman Sea
This Landsat 8 satellite image captured in November 2019 shows the Andaman Sea near Burma and its internal waves, which are caused by tides, currents, gravity, and Earth’s rotation.
Crop Circles in the Desert
This false-color image created in 2012 using sensors, shows vegetation growing across the arid Wadi As-Sirhan Basin in Saudi Arabia. The green dots indicate new vegetation while the dry fields are rust-coloured.
Earth at Night
This image, which was captured in 2016, has had all-natural light removed from it so that Nasa scientists can chart the pattern of human settlement across the planet.