T-40: Such an Intense Blue

The Space Station orbits Earth fast – about once every 90 minutes – so each look out the window shows an entirely different view of our home planet. While we can use astronauts’ photos of Earth to do science, the astronauts get to experience a phenomenon called the “overview effect.” Essentially, seeing our home planet from a distance changes your perspective of Earth and its place in the universe.

Astronaut Don Pettit reflected on his first view of Earth from space, stating, “We were somewhere over the ocean and it was an intensity of color that no photography, no video, no movie, no film can capture.”

NASA logo with the blue circle replaced with Earth

Sharing images of our planet from space helps reminds us all of how small and fragile Earth is – a pale, blue dot in the vast cosmos.