Geology & Geophysics Opinion

Our Spectacular Earth

NASA astronaut and AGU member Drew Feustel shares stunning views of our planet from aboard the International Space Station.

By Andrew J. Feustel

During a 16 May spacewalk, Drew Feustel installs and replaces equipment on ISS’s truss.
During a 16 May spacewalk, Drew Feustel installs external wireless antennas and replaces an external light and camera on the International Space Station’s truss. Credit: Ricky Arnold/NASA

Our Earth is breathtaking, always. No matter when we look down, where we are, day or night, the perspective is exceptional.

From space, you can see the drama of Earth’s past and present. At nearly 300 miles per minute, continents flash by in the time it takes to review a new photo.

Each day, this view impresses upon me the importance of the work we all do as geoscientists. We strive to understand how this planet works, how it can provide resources for our use, and how we can protect it so that we may continue traveling through space on this spaceship we call Earth.

All of us who are geoscientists need to continue to share our stories of discovery.

View of the mighty Amazon River, taken in mid May.
View of the mighty Amazon River, taken in mid-May. Credit: Drew Feustel
Mid-May 2018 photo from the International Space Station showing activity on Hawaii’s Kīlauea volcano.
It’s easy to see the activity on Hawaii’s Kīlauea volcano from the International Space Station. Photo taken in mid-May. Credit: Drew Feustel

—Andrew J. “Drew” Feustel (@Astro_Feustel), NASA Astronaut

Editor’s note: On 1 June, Drew Feustel becomes commander of the International Space Station’s Expedition 56. He is scheduled to make his ninth spacewalk on 15 June.

Citation: Feustel, A. J. (2018), Our spectacular Earth, Eos, 99, Published on 31 May 2018.
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