NASA has a new social media campaign to engage the public day of the Earth, an annual event to celebrate our planet – and the importance of protecting the environment – on Monday (April 22).
Social media users on Instagram, Twitter and the NASA Earth Facebook event page can post a close-up photo of their favorite natural functions on our own planet. This can be "old trees, blooming flowers or beautiful sunsets," NASA officials said in a statement. Use the hashtag #PictureEarth and explain where the photo was taken – and upload your photo on April 22 to qualify.
NASA plans to show these photos in videos and composite images that the agency will share on social media after Earth Day.
Related: Fantastic images of the earth from space (gallery)
"NASA satellites and instruments in the sky represent the Earth every day to increase our knowledge of our home and improve lives," the agency said in a statement. "These images, shared with scientists and the public around the world, can use visible light, such as a photographer's camera, or look in infrared, microwave, and radio wavelengths that are invisible to human eyes."
Shortly after Earth Day, NASA adds another Earth Observation Satellite to its growing fleet. The Orbiting Carbon Observatory 3 will launch on April 26 to the international space station with a SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft, if everything goes according to plan. This mission will measure carbon dioxide from space, a key gas involved in global climate change. (The mission was almost canceled due to a Trump budget application in 2017, though it was restored later.)
The first Earth Day took place in 1970, less than 18 months after Apollo 8 astronauts had taken full-color photos of the emerging earth above the moon. It was the first time human eyes saw our planet from so far, and the photo is credited with helping to fire the environmental movement. However, the first "Earthrise" image was taken by NASA & # 39; s robotic Lunar Orbiter 1 spaceship in 1966, in black and white.