Earth Day 2020: Apollo-8 to Earth observing fleet

  • Released Tuesday, April 21, 2020
  • Updated Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 5:17PM
  • ID: 4801

This visualization was created as an introductory shot to video celebrating the 50th anniersary of Earth Day. The camera approaches the moon from the far side, with Earth behind the moon. The camera moves over the limb revealing Apollo-8, when Bill Anders took the iconic "Earthrise" photo that inspired Earth Day and the environmental movement.

The camera then pushes in quickly to the Earth revealing the Earth observing spacecraft that were in orbit in 1970, the year of the first Earth Day. Finally, the orbits from other years are flashed on until we reach the orbits for 2020, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.


Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio


This visualization is related to the following missions:


This visualization can be found in the following series:

Datasets used in this visualization

Terra and Aqua BMNG (A.K.A. Blue Marble: Next Generation) (Collected with the MODIS sensor)

Credit: The Blue Marble data is courtesy of Reto Stockli (NASA/GSFC).

Dataset can be found at:

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CelesTrak Spacecraft Orbit Ephemeris
LRO DEM (A.K.A. Digital Elevation Map) (Collected with the LOLA sensor)
GEOS-5 Cubed-Sphere (A.K.A. GEOS-5 Atmospheric Model on the Cubed-Sphere)

The model is the GEOS-5 atmospheric model on the cubed-sphere, run at 14-km global resolution for 30-days. GEOS-5 is described here and the cubed-sphere work is described here

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Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

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