By Adrienne Provenzano
April 22 is designated as Earth Day! If you are looking for some interesting views of the planet, check, out the website Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth! 3.5 million images of Earth have been captured from the International Space Station, which obits the Earth every 90 minutes. Another 500,000 images have been gathered by astronauts on missions dating back to the earliest NASA missions with crew --Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and Shuttle. You can take a look at the free database of still images and videos at https://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/ Browse through existing collections by topics such as Earth as Art or search for particular locations, including daytime and nighttime views. There are also opportunities to participate in citizen science projects!
This year NASA's Earth Day theme is Connected by Earth: From Big to Small We're All Connected. By visiting https://masa.gov/earthday you can find lots of resources, including an Earth Day Took it and information on how NASA data is used to study animal migrations, vegetation, and more! If you're looking for an interesting Earth-based project connected with space, you might enjoy being part of the 2021 Community Tree challenge, April 15-May 15. Participants can measure tree height and share the data online. This information is then compared with satellite data. The tree challenge site also lists many family-friendly nature activities to enjoy. the program is organized by GLOBE, the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment program, https://www.globe.gov
GLOBE was founded on Earth Day 1994, and provides a variety of activities for hands-on learning of Earth's systems. Data is collected worldwide and then shared online. Elementary GLOBE includes storybooks available in 6 different languages, with observation and data collection investigation activities geared towards students in grades K-4. Topics include clouds, hummingbirds, and soils.
Happy Earth Day!
Adrienne Provenzano is a Friend of the Limberlost, Advanced Indiana Master Naturalist, and NASA Solar System Ambassador