Celebrate Earth Day with NASA by Taking a 'Global Selfie'

Blue Marble from Suomi NPP
A “Blue Marble” image of the Earth taken from the VIIRS instrument aboard NASA's Earth-observing satellite — Suomi NPP. This composite image uses a number of swaths of the Earth's surface taken on Jan. 4, 2012. (Image credit: NASA/NOAA/GSFC/Suomi NPP/VIIRS/Norman Kuring)

NASA is asking everybody on Earth to help create a new image of the planet composed entirely of selfies taken during Earth Day on April 22.

The aim is not only to raise awareness about Earth and climate change, but also to advertise the five Earth-gazing satellites that NASA will launch this year. That's the highest launch count for the agency in more than a decade.

"Designed to encourage environmental awareness and recognize the agency's ongoing work to protect our home planet, NASA's 'Global Selfie' event asks people everywhere to take a picture of themselves in their local environment," the space agency said in a statement.

On Earth Day, April 22, 2014, NASA invites you to celebrate by stepping outside, taking a "selfie" and sharing it with the world on social media. The event is designed to encourage environmental awareness and recognize NASA's ongoing work to protect Earth. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Taking part is simple: just bring a camera, step outside and take a picture of yourself before posting on social media. The agency will watch for photos posted to Twitter, Instagram or Google+ with the hashtag #GlobalSelfie, the Facebook event page #GlobalSelfie or the Flickr group #GlobalSelfie.

While selfies have been common since mobile phones sprouted cameras, the concept exploded in popularity in March after comedian Ellen DeGeneres tweeted a selfie taken with several actors during the Oscars. The resulting tweet was the most popular ever generated, with 3.4 million retweets as of early April.

The new photo will reference a full-frame picture of Earth, called the "blue marble" photo,released from NASA's Suomi NPP mission in 2012. The single image is a mosaic of several pictures taken in January that year.

You can find more details on the selfie campaign through NASA.

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Elizabeth Howell
Staff Writer, Spaceflight

Elizabeth Howell (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for Space.com for 10 years before joining full-time. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, flying parabolic, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science at several institutions since 2015; her experience includes developing and teaching an astronomy course at Canada's Algonquin College (with Indigenous content as well) to more than 1,000 students since 2020. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: https://qoto.org/@howellspace