“Our lovely blue planet, the Earth, is the only home we know. Venus is too hot. Mars is too cold. But the Earth is just right, a heaven for humans. After all, we evolved here. But our congenial climate may be unstable. We are perturbing our poor planet in serious and contradictory ways. Is there any danger of driving the environment of the Earth toward the planetary Hell of Venus or the global ice age of Mars? The simple answer is that nobody knows. The study of the global climate, the comparison of the Earth with other worlds, are subjects in their earliest stages of development. They are fields that are poorly and grudgingly funded. In our ignorance, we continue to push and pull, to pollute the atmosphere and brighten the land, oblivious of the fact that the long-term consequences are largely unknown. A few million years ago, when human beings first evolved on Earth, it was already a middle-aged world, 4.6 billion years along from the catastrophes and impetuosities of its youth. But we humans now represent a new and perhaps decisive factor. Our intelligence and our technology have given us the power to affect the climate. How will we use this power? Are we willing to tolerate ignorance and complacency in matters that affect the entire human family? Do we value short-term advantages above the welfare of the Earth? Or will we think on longer time scales, with concern for our children and our grandchildren, to understand and protect the complex life-support systems of our planet? The Earth is a tiny and fragile world. It needs to be cherished.”
— Carl Sagan, Cosmos (1980)
Read it all. And keep in mind, as we move forward with our lives beyond this important (and hopefully historic) moment in our developing history, that Carl would have not only been right alongside those protesting around the world for global climate action, he would have most certainly been one of the key featured speakers at the 2014 U.N. Climate Summit.
NGC 4258 (M106): Galactic Pyrotechnics On Display
A new composite of NGC 4258 features X-rays from Chandra (blue), radio waves from the VLA (purple), optical data from Hubble (yellow and blue), and infrared with Spitzer (red).
NGC 4258 is well known to astronomers for having “anomalous” arms that are not aligned with the plane of the galaxy, but rather intersect with it.
Researchers are trying to understand how the giant black hole in the center of NGC 4258 is affecting the rest of the galaxy.
NGC 4258, also known as Messier 106, is located about 23 million light years from Earth.
Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Caltech/P.Ogle et al; Optical: NASA/STScI; IR: NASA/JPL-Caltech; Radio: NSF/NRAO/VLA
10 Things About Sushi
At our 2014 Science of Sushi event, Dr. Ole Mouritsen and Chef Morihiro Onodera illuminated the science underlying some of our favorite components of sushi. In case you still haven’t had your fill, here are 10 scientific facts related to sushi…
Show Some Condor Love! Follow Our California Condor Release for National Public Lands Day
Today, the BLM, The Peregrine Fund and partners will release three California condors in the BLM-managed Vermillion Cliffs National Monument in Arizona. The annual release coincides with National Public Lands Day, and you can join the celebration on social media!
Follow using the hashtags #CondorsOnTheRise, #WelcomeCondors and #NPLD on BLM’s Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram.
Photo by #CondorsOnTheRise Partner Arizona Game and Fish. See more photos on our My Public Lands Flickr set,
Learn more about the annual event and condor recovery: http://bit.ly/condorsontherise
Cuddling California Condors cause considerable compassion.