Earth Day

I was checking my mail in AOL when I came across an article about archived images that NASA released recently in celebration of Earth Day. The pictures serve as both reminders and warnings of how beautiful– and at the same time, fragile– our planet Earth is. The message is simple: Earth is the only planet we live in. It is beautiful! So let us protect it and keep it preciously that way.

NASA infrared photo of Morenci Mine, AZ

NASA infrared photo of Morenci Mine in Arizona, U.S.A.

Original Caption Released with Image:
The Morenci open-pit copper mine in southeast Arizona is North America’s leading producer of copper. In the 1860s, prospectors arrived looking for gold; instead they found copper. Underground mining began in the 1870s, and the first pit was opened in 1939. Phelps Dodge employs over 200 people in the mining and refining operations. Around-the-clock removal of 700,000 tons of rock per day results in production of 382 thousand tons of copper per year. Phelps Dodge is now developing the Safford Mine, about 12 km southwest of Morenci. It will be the first new copper mine in the US in more than 30 years. When production starts in 2008, the Safford Mine will produce 109 thousand tons of copper. This ASTER image uses shortwavelength infrared bands to highlight in bright pink the altered rocks in the Morenci pit associated with copper mineralization.

The image covers an area of 21 x 16.9 km, was acquired on July 14, 2007, and is centered near 33.1 degrees north latitude, 109.5 degrees west longitude.

The U.S. science team is located at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. The Terra mission is part of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.

Image Credit:
NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team

I find the picture above sooo beautiful and it reminded me of the colorful abstract/expressionist works of de Kooning, Kandinsky, Rouault, Pollock and Gorky. Who would have thought that an infrared shot of an open-pit copper mine could produce such stunning image?! It is no doubt that the deeper we look into nature, the more beauty we can find. That is, if there is still anything left in nature that we can look at– considering the dire state of the environment we are in now. If we treat our planet Earth as our “home” in the same way we treat our own house as our abode, then we would have made the first step in our constructive efforts sympathetic to Earth’s survival. Save and conserve energy, recycle, plant trees, don’t throw trash into the river, turn the lights off when not in use, etc.– yes, these phrases might be clichés already. But they are also irrevocably, undeniably true. If we don’t see the truth in these tasks, then we as a people will all perish first long before the non-biodegradable trash we throw wantonly around shows up on top of our ashes and graves.

a man and his abstract future

a man and his abstract future, 11″x14″, acrylic, colored pencil, marker and crayon on Strathmore Sketch 400-series, 60-lb paper

And since earth rotates on its axis every day and revolves around the sun every year, then let’s give our own share and keep practicing Earth Day 24/7,  365.25 days, year in and year out.

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2 Responses

  1. Thank you for sharing. I never thought the earth’s infrared photo would look that wonderful!

  2. Master Artist…thanks for being environmental friendly …we better save our planet Earth NOW !Climate change is felt anywhere with serious consequences on people’s lives. Just like here..it’s supposed to be SUMMER and yet rainy days have set in too early this April causing flash floods in some areas in the North.We really need to promote Earth Day so that we can inculcate values to the young people in order to save the environment from degradation….hope the level of consciousness among the generation Y will be put into action as well.Happy Earth Day !Plant trees!!!

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