It is the annual 45th Earth Day celebration from April 17-22 and NASA is offering online and live activities to reveal to the public their mission to protect and understand the Earth. NASA is capable of using space to increase understanding, ensure the future and improve lives. NASA is always developing new techniques to study the earth’s natural systems using long-term data records and they share this knowledge from a unique vantage point. The agency works with global institutions looking for new insight into how the planet is changing.
The Public Earth Day celebration was sponsored by the Earth Day Network. The celebration featured NASA exhibits, demonstrations, hands-on activities and views of Earth from space. Charles Bolden, NASA Administrator opened the event, Friday afternoon.
April 21-22, the NASA Hyperwall and Science Gallery exhibits were open. There were also hands-on activities and demonstrations. NASA scientists spoke April 22 at the Hyperwall stage after the 11 a.m. Earth Day opening ceremony. Opening ceremonies included NASA’s associate administrator, John Grunsfeld and Chief Scientist Ellen Stofan, NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington.
April 16 through May, Dulles International Airport will be displaying satellite images showing the Earth’s natural beauty. The display will also show how NASA uses data from their multitude of satellites that observe the Earth so scientists can study the planet.
Online, April 22, NASA is promoting people worldwide to celebrate Earth Day through the awareness of the environment using social media. Use photos, videos, art of your favorite sites on Earth and post a picture of your favorite place. NASA is asking people to post on Twitter, Instagram, Vine or Google+ with the hashtag, #NoPlaceLikeHome. Also post to event groups on Flickr and Facebook. Check it out and see what people are sharing all around the world. To learn how you can participate, go to http://www.nasa.gov/likehome.
April 22 from 10 to 11 a.m. online, The Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) celebrates 20 years on Earth Day. There was an online conversation with the GLOBE educators and scientists around the world. GLOBE is supported by NASA and the National Science Foundation engage students and the general worldwide public collecting scientific data to continue understanding of the Earth system and environment.
April 18-19 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center had an exhibit at the Poppy Festival that featured the Earth Day #NoPlaceLikeHome social media activity. There were also displays on NASA’s aeronautics and scientific research and pilot’s signed autographs.
April 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. an Earth Day science exhibit was held at NASA’s Research Center in Ames, concerning the science research that is being done at the 63rd U.S. Army Reserve Regional Support, held an Earth Day Fair which is an event free for the whole family.
April 25-26 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Long Beach, California, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA owned will be showing an exhibit at the Aquarium Pacific’s Earth Day Festival. There will be demonstrations of various apps for mobile devices. There will also be other activities and helpful handouts.
For more information about NASA’s Earth Day science activities, go to http://www.nasa.gov/earth.
NASA astronaut, Scott Kelly is having a series of Earth Day quizzes from the International Space Station (ISS). The Space Station orbits 220 miles above Earth. Kelly started his year-long residence at ISS in March and he is using his view of the Earth to test people’s geography knowledge. Starting Earth Day, April 22, he will post pictures of different locations taken from the ISS on Twitter. Be the first to tweet the correct location with the hashtag #spacegeo will win that photo. Kelly is tweeting a new photo every Wednesday until he returns home.
The ISS circles the Earth 12 times a day so Kelly will have many choice locations to choose to tweet. His Twitter followers will need to refresh their geographical knowledge.
NASA astronauts can take some credit for the birth of Earth Day, due to the pictures they have taken of Earth from outer space. A particular photo, the famous Earthrise-over-the-moon picture taken in 1968 by the Apollo crew, showed Earth to be a little blue marble floating in space. That is how to celebrate Earth Day with NASA.
By Jeanette Smith