Want to experience how astronauts see our planet? That’s not a problem, made possible by a project called Daily Overview with its stunning, daily updated collection of digital images, shot from space, looking down on our planet’s spectacular, vulnerable nature and man-made impact and geometries.
It must be a very special feeling when astronauts see earth from space for the first time. Suddenly the planet is in front of them as a whole, realizing how beautiful our world is — but also how fragile. That’s how the relationship between these men (and a few women) and earth changes.
These astronauts, says the project, “have the chance to appreciate our home in its entirety, to reflect on its beauty and its fragility all at once. That’s the cognitive shift that we hope to inspire.”
They feel a deep connection to all live on the planet and want to take responsibility. Experts call this the overview effect. This short film explains the phenomenon through interviews with five astronauts, giving insights into the wider implications and importance of this understanding for society, and our relationship to the environment:
The project is named after this effect to make humans more aware of the marks of civilization and the consequences of their actions. That’s why each and every day the website publishes a new satellite image showing planet earth in its breathtaking and at the same time terrifying beauty.
From our line of sight on the earth’s surface, it’s impossible to fully appreciate the beauty and intricacy of the things we’ve constructed, the sheer complexity of the systems we’ve developed, or the devastating impact that we’ve had on our planet. We believe that beholding these forces as they shape our earth is necessary to make progress in understanding who we are as a species, and what is needed to sustain a safe and healthy planet (…)
The mesmerizing flatness seen from this vantage point, the surprising comfort of systematic organization on a massive scale, or the vibrant colors that we capture will hopefully turn your head. However, once we have that attention, we hope you will go beyond the aesthetics, contemplate just exactly what it is that you’re seeing, and consider what that means for our planet.