The Sciences

A living world, from 370,000 km away

Bad AstronomyBy Phil PlaitJul 31, 2010 4:30 PM


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In all the solar system, in all the galaxy, in all the Universe, there is but one world we know for sure harbors life.

Home. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter took this picture in June 2010. From 373,000 km (231,000 miles) away, however, the evidence of life is scant. The image is gray scale, with no blue-green color to give away forests, oceans, carbon-based oxygen-breathing organisms. But we still know it's there. Click the image to bring it home, or download a reference image if you need a little help identifying locations. I will never leave this planet, and you probably won't either, but our machines do. And a precious few of us humans do as well. Maybe, in just a decade or two, this view will be a common one for a lot more of us.

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