The Planet Earth

Apollo 17 Image AS17-148-22727 courtesty NASA National Space Science Data Center

View of the Earth as seen by the Apollo 17 crew traveling toward the moon. This translunar coast photograph extends from the Mediterranean Sea area to the Antarctica south polar ice cap. This is the first time the Apollo trajectory made it possible to photograph the south polar ice cap. Note the heavy cloud cover in the southern hamisphere. Almost the entire coastline of Africa is clearly visible. The Arabian Peninsula can be seen at the northeastern edge of Africa. The large island off the coast of Africa is the Malagasy Republic. The Asian mainland is on the horizon toward the northeast. Date Taken: 12/07/72" --- NASA IMAGE CAPTION

Port of Entry

This view never fails to impress first-time visitors to Terra .... sometimes fondly referred to as "the Big Blue Marble", although no one is really sure what a marble is ....

Be aware that however attractive the scenery, the planet is deceptively dangerous. Its atmosphere contains a significant amount of highly-corrosive and poisonous oxygen. It appears that the native flora of the region has manufactured this toxic gas and that the local fauna has, remarkably, been able to utilize it to produce useful exothermic reactions.

Just make sure your methane tanks are sufficiently full and your suit is leak-free before setting foot on this beautiful but treacherous place!

North American Continent ... Continue the Tour ... Solar System

... or return to ...
Sommers-Bausch Observatory