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Gore writes: "Over the past several weeks we have received the first of the breath-taking images taken from the DSCOVR satellite positioned a million miles from Earth."

Al Gore. (photo: Time)
Al Gore. (photo: Time)


Dark Side of Moon and Light Side of Earth, Seen Together in Full Light for First Time Ever

By Al Gore, Reader Supported News

06 August 15

 

ver the past several weeks we have received the first of the breath-taking images taken from the DSCOVR satellite positioned a million miles from Earth, at the Lagrangian 1, or "L1 point," where the gravitational pull of the Earth and the Sun cancel each other out. As a result, the satellite orbits the Sun along with the Earth, always remaining between them, with a constant view of the fully illuminated face of Earth as it rotates.

DSCOVR's Earth "selfies," beamed back to Earth nearly 18 years after the project began, evoke memories of The Blue Marble image, taken on December 7, 1972, which until now has been the only image to show the complete face of our planet.

On July 20, the anniversary of the first moon landing, when the White House released the First Light image from DSCOVR's EPIC camera, I felt the same emotions that I felt almost 43 years ago when I saw The Blue Marble for the first time: excitement, curiosity and a sense of wonder.

But, today's set of images showing the moon moving across the Earth -- a lunar conjunction -- are really amazing. DSCOVR is four times farther from the Earth than the moon, so on those occasions when the moon passes between the satellite and the Earth, we are able to see the "dark side" of the moon as it passes in front of the live rotating sphere of the Earth, providing an extra measure of inspiration and awe.

These images -- and there will a continuous stream of them starting in Fall after this "shakedown" period has been completed -- have the potential to inspire new ways of thinking about our human condition on a planet with a friendly ecosystem now under threat from activities we can and must change. They will allow everyone on Earth to see the places where they live in the context of the planetary whole, reminding us all of our shared obligation to care for the Earth, and protect the health and well-being of our only home.



Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

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+24 # Dongi 2015-08-06 17:14
Oh God, Earth is so beautiful. How can we not care for this lovely planet
 
 
-30 # lsd 2015-08-06 21:18
Al, I have no desire to care for earth for the sake of just caring for the earth. I care about reducing pain and suffering for all life. Life is the focus. If this planet is nothing more than a prison of pain and suffering until the sun expands to make it a burned dead rock then it's better off a burned dead rock.
 
 
+11 # ericlipps 2015-08-07 04:51
Quoting lsd:
Al, I have no desire to care for earth for the sake of just caring for the earth. I care about reducing pain and suffering for all life. Life is the focus. If this planet is nothing more than a prison of pain and suffering until the sun expands to make it a burned dead rock then it's better off a burned dead rock.

The point is that "reducing pain and suffering for all life" is that caring for the planet (not just caring about it while doing nothing) is the best path to take.

We could "reduce pain and suffering for all life" by killing everything, too--if there is no life, there can be no pain and suffering, But no one believes this is the way to go.

Oh, and one more time: there is no "dark side" of the moon, only a far side we can't see from Earth that gets its full share of sunlight.
 
 
-11 # lsd 2015-08-07 08:28
You say, "We could "reduce pain and suffering for all life" by killing everything, too--if there is no life, there can be no pain and suffering, But no one believes this is the way to go."

Can you give me a better reason than because: no one believes this is the way to go. It seems like such a batshit crazy thing to kill all life to eliminate suffering, so you should be able to come up with dozens of reasons why it's batshit crazy. Thanks!
 
 
+1 # Capn Canard 2015-08-09 09:27
Here is the my problem with your post: humanity is a parasite on the earth OR earth and most of life has a symbiotic relationship with earth and requires earth to exist. Given that I propose that without a healthy earth then humanity may very well suffer some seriously negative effects of living on this very orb that is throbbing with life. We need to remember just four words: Don't fuck with it.
 
 
+4 # Patriot 2015-08-07 21:06
Isd, if we don't take steps immediately to halt the many utterly destructive practices in which we're now so busily engaged, most of the lifeforms we now recognize on Earth will shortly cease to exist, along with their pain and suffering.

The planet itself is alive. What about its pain and suffering, which we have wilfully inflicted upon it for generations, as ever-more-escal ating pollution, destruction, and annihilation?

What makes us miserable humans so precious? We are the ONLY species of life that exists on the planet that makes absolutely no useful contibution to the cycle of life.
 
 
+7 # mozartssister 2015-08-08 09:27
Quoting lsd:
If this planet is nothing more than a prison of pain and suffering until the sun expands to make it a burned dead rock then it's better off a burned dead rock.


The fallacy here in your thinking is that life and earth are separate. Without earth, there is no life. If earth is sick and dying, so is all life on the planet. Life is not more important than earth—earth IS life. We'd better do a better job taking care of her, or we are nothing more than the cancer that kills its host.
 
 
+2 # NAVYVET 2015-08-08 20:11
This is a very beautiful video. Actually, we're a lot more than a cancer, as I recognize every time I hear Britten's "War Requiem" or look at the details of Van Gogh's "Starry Night." But you are right. We ARE a cancer, too. We have been lazy and stupid and greedy, and if we stay the present course we'll continue to be a cancer to other forms of life and the life support rejuvenation of microscopic life, air, soil, wind and water that have been so nicely self-regulating since the last "snowball earth" melted away 635 million years ago. I sometimes wonder if lethal cancers are as self-deluding as the cancerous 1% who are trying to buy the entire planet, while blaming all our symptoms of sickness on God or the Devil or simply refusing to believe there's anything wrong, or that all cancers come to a quick bad end, dying with the victim.

The point is that we absolutely must GET TO WORK and refuse to be a cancer!
 
 
0 # lsd 2015-08-10 09:50
Is this a prevalent belief? Mozartssister, why do you stop at the earth? What about the sun; it's required for most life. So, the sun is life. The moon plays a large part; so, the moon is life; what about the higgs field or the very nature of the universe?

Why do so many equate "beauty" with something morallly good? Seeing "beauty" is genetic manipulation. People see great "beauty" in nature, yet nature is full of pain and suffering. I guess it's all good as long as it's "natural" pain and suffering.

It takes time for new neurons to grow when confronted with ideas that go against years of programming and are reinforced by our own genetic programming.
 
 
+2 # NAVYVET 2015-08-08 20:03
LSD, have you perhaps experienced your name once too often? It would be a good time for you to see a doctor, or at least consult with a good friend.
 
 
+3 # CL38 2015-08-08 20:32
Earth is no prison of pain. That's the responsibility of those (mostly men) who set policy and decimate everything they touch the world over....for personal profit.
 
 
+8 # kevenwood 2015-08-07 01:17
I am looking at this picture and wondering -- Where are all of the alien moon bases and space ships I heard about hiding on the other side, as told by passionate experts on night time AM radio for years.

#AWKWARD
 
 
+7 # Buddha 2015-08-07 09:06
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishab le from magic." - Arthur C. Clarke

If an alien civilization has reached the technical level required for interstellar travel, functional invisibility from detection by more primitive technologies like ours would be child's play.
 
 
0 # Capn Canard 2015-08-09 09:30
Or such a sufficiently advanced alien technology may not need the moon at all.
 

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