When an alien looking down on Earth they could learn a lot about the humans who live here. Some iconic photographs of our planet from space reveal the power and problems of humanity. There are over 7 billion humans on Earth and that number just keeps growing. While our planet theoretically has room for all these people. Humans tend to cluster inhospitable areas around water into cities.
In these landsite satellite images. We can see how the middle eastern city of Dubai grew from an invisible village in 1973 to a major metropolis in 2006. The new buildings and man-made land features.
Although, Dubai artful Islands are mansions for millionaires. The same techniques used to create them can be put to more practical purposes
Rotterdam in the Netherlands harness the method to reclaim land from the ocean and reinvigorate airport.
In China, air pollution is a major problem built on cities with enough smog to hamper visibility and require face masks. On the bad day, air pollution can even be seen from space
In January 2013, a particularly thick layer of haze smothered eastern China. Seen on “before and after” photos from NASA's Terra satellite. The smog blotted out the features a capital city Beijing and neighboring Tianjin. When this image was snapped Beijing, an air quality index at 341. Levels above 300 are dangerous to all human even healthy adults.
While technological progress can cause problems like air pollution it can also be lovely. Composite image from NASA and NOAH satellite shows even after the Sun has set—our planet still shines
Industrialized parts of the world glow. While areas where electricity is less readily available such as, North Korea, are noticeably darker. As earth becomes even more industrialized, we can expect the night sky to get even brighter.
However, while these changes pretty to look at—it can also cause problems. Light pollution makes the stars difficult to see and messes with our sleep cycles.
Hurricanes looks stately for high above. In this image from the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite 13. You can see hurricane Sandy about to crash over the eastern US. If you know something about climate this photo may give you valuable information about our planet.
Researchers predict that as the world gets warmer extreme weather events will become more frequent. Climate changes also make storms like Sandy and Haiyan more intense and does more devastating.
By looking at our wild weather, a savvy alien observer could conclude that Earth is undergoing global warming.
In 1968, from their location in orbit around the moon. The Apollo 8 mission snapped this photo on Earth rise. The voyage that made the picture possible is wonderful evidence of the human hunger for exploration. Other photos of Earth from the orbit show population growth, industrialization, air pollution and global warming. However in this image, it tells you about the nature of humanity. We just can't stop striving for the stars. In January, the Curiosity rover snapped even more distant photo of our planet from Mars. Pushing the boundaries in space, there's the “Pale Blue Dot.” The iconic photo of Earth that Voyager 1 snapped from six billion kilometers away.