March 26, 2007


Unrelated complaint (this is not going to make me popular): I am sick of The Blue Marble. I have never liked this picture for three main reasons:
1. Everyone acts like it is the greatest and most important photograph in the history of the world,
2. It features only one continent, much too conspicuously. The Southern Hemisphere also happens to be lamer hemisphere.
3. Ubiquity.
#3 is definitely the worst. This page documents some tacky examples of Marble's misuse during its tenure as World's Only Photograph. I find it most annoying when the picture turns up in some inappropriate context, particularly instances when the photo is supposed to represent a current view of Earth from space, but it is obviously the stock image. The clouds always give it away.

Can't we move on already and start using another Earth photo? 35 years are enough. Here are some of the shots from Galileo (1, 2, 3, 4). Any of them are acceptable. The composite generated photo on the right is even better. I would also be ok with NASA funding some kind of Earth photographing mission just so we get rid of this god-forsaken shot. There are surprisingly few photos of the planet taken from space.

Earthrise has always been a favorite actually. Making the planet appear small is much more interesting than forcing us to memorize that stupid cloud pattern.

Far better.