Have you ever heard about the “Overview Effect”? It’s a phrase coined by space philosopher and writer Frank White.
It expresses the experience of witnessing firsthand the awe and wonder of the Earth from outer space.
Astronauts have been known to see life from a completely new perspective after looking down onto our pale blue dot. Nationalistic interests, wars, famine, and epidemics can’t be seen from such a distance.
A new project inspired by the Overview Effect, the Daily Overview, acts as a resource for people who aren’t included in the handful of space explorers (about 500 to date) who have had the opportunity to experience this perception altering encounter for themselves. By providing breathtaking satellite photos of Earth, this endeavor will (hopefully) allow viewers to conceive of the world as one, to provide an awareness that will play a role in saving the planet.
So far, the images captured include the 843 acres of Central Park in New York City, the dropping water level of the Dead Sea, Barcelona’s Eixample district, seaweed farms in Indonesia and the world’s largest cemetery, Our Lady Of Almudena, where there are an estimated five million gravesites.
Every day, the Daily Overview provides a new image taken from satellites in space in an effort to allow people 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.”
If more people were given the chance to view reality from an astronaut’s perspective, do you believe it would really change things down here on Earth?
We really, really hope so. After all, this is our home. This is all we’ve got.
As American poet Archibald MacLeish once said:
To see the earth as it truly is, small and blue and beautiful in that eternal silence where it floats, is to see ourselves a riders on the earth together, brothers on that bright loveliness in the eternal cold—brothers who know now they are truly brothers.
For more images of this remarkable world of ours, head on over to the Daily Overview’s website, where you can browse through their extensive archive.
Satellite Imagery by Apple Maps / Digital Globe