Earth, our beautiful
blue planet. It is the third planet from the Sun, but above all, it is our home, the only astronomical object known to harbor life. Here are the top 10 best Earth quotes.
Apollo 17 spacecraft took a photo of Earth from space, at a distance of about 45,000 kilometers (28,000 miles). This image, with the official NASA designation AS17-148-22727, became known as “ The Blue Marble“, one of the most iconic photos of Earth from space. In fact, it was not the first clear image of Earth taken from space – similar photos had already been taken as early as 1967. But, the 1970s were the scene of a big surge in environmental activism. For example, on April 22, 1970, the first “ Earth Day” was organized by Gaylord Nelson, former senator of Wisconsin, and Denis Hayes, a Harvard graduate student. Millions of people gather in the United States for the event. So, in today’s terms, image AS17-148-22727 went “viral” and became a symbol of the environmental movement, as a depiction of Earth’s frailty, vulnerability, and isolation amid the vast expanse of space. According to NASA archivist Mike Gentry, it is among the most widely distributed images in human history.
And yet it moves.
Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)
Orbiting Earth in the spaceship, I saw how beautiful our planet is. People, let us preserve and increase this beauty, not destroy it!
Yuri Gagarin, the first human in space (12 April 1961)
I don’t know any words, in any language, to match the beauty of an orbital sunrise.
Alexander Gerst, ESA Astronaut
20 minutes after I got into space on that first flight I happened to stare out the window, by accident almost, and I saw something on the horizon that I didn’t recognize. I had no idea what it was. I turned to the commander of the Space Shuttle and I said: ‘What the hell is that?’ and he says ‘That’s the surprise.’ As the Sun came up I was absolutely blown away by how incredibly beautiful our planet Earth is. Absolutely breathtaking. Like someone took the most brilliant blue paint and painted a mural right in front of my eyes. I knew right then and there that I would never, ever see anything as beautiful as planet Earth again.
Scott Kelly, Former NASA Astronaut
You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, “Look at that, you son of a b***”.
Edgar Mitchell, Apollo 14 astronaut and the sixth person to walk on the Moon.
Earth sunrise photo: NASA
People often say, “I want to go to heaven when I die”. In reality, if you think about it, you go to heaven when you’re born.
Jim Lovell, former NASA astronaut
The Earth does not belong to us: we belong to the Earth.
No matter where I go in the world, although I can’t speak any foreign language, I don’t feel out of place. I think of the earth as my home. If everyone thought this way, people might notice just how foolish international friction is, and they would put an end to it. We are, after all, at a point where it is almost narrow-minded to think merely in geocentric terms. Human beings have launched satellites into outer space, and yet they still grovel on earth looking at their own feet like wild dogs. What is to become of our planet?
As we got farther and farther away, the Earth diminished in size. Finally it shrank to the size of a marble, the most beautiful marble you can imagine… seeing this has to change a man.
James Irwin, Apollo 15 astronaut
Consider again that dot [Earth]. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space
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