Eco story

Earth Day is April 24.

Quotes from astronauts gazing upon their home planet…

My first view – a panorama of brilliant deep blue ocean, shot with shades of green and gray 
and white – was of atolls and clouds. Close to the window I could see that this Pacific scene 
in motion was rimmed by the great curved limb of the Earth. It had a thin halo of blue held 
close, and beyond, black space. I held my breath, but something was missing – I felt strangely 
unfulfilled. Here was a tremendous visual spectacle, but viewed in silence. There was no 
grand musical accompaniment; no triumphant, inspired sonata or symphony. Each one of 
us must write the music of this sphere for ourselves. – Charles Walker, USA.

Looking outward to the blackness of space, sprinkled with the glory of a universe of lights, I 
saw majesty – but no welcome. Below was a welcoming planet. There, contained in the thin, 
moving, incredibly fragile shell of the biosphere is everything that is dear to you, all the 
human drama and comedy. That’s where life is; that’s were all the good stuff is. 
- Loren Acton, USA

The Earth was small, light blue, and so touchingly alone, our home that must be defended 
like a holy relic. The Earth was absolutely round. I believe I never knew what the word round 
meant until I saw Earth from space. 
- Aleksei Leonov, USSR

The sun truly “comes up like thunder,” and it sets just as fast. Each sunrise and sunset lasts 
only a few seconds. But in that time you see at least eight different bands of color come and 
go, from a brilliant red to the brightest and deepest blue. And you see sixteen sunrises and 
sixteen sunsets every day you’re in space. No sunrise or sunset is ever the same. 
- Joseph Allen, USA

The Earth reminded us of a Christmas tree ornament hanging in the blackness of space. 
As we got farther and farther away it diminished in size. Finally it shrank to the size of a 
marble, the most beautiful marble you can imagine. That beautiful, warm, living object 
looked so fragile, so delicate, that if you touched it with a finger it would crumble and fall 
apart. Seeing this has to change a man, has to make a man appreciate the creation of God 
and the love of God. 
- James Irwin, USA

Suddenly, from behind the rim of the moon, in long, slow-motion moments of immense 
majesty, there emerges a sparkling blue and white jewel, a light, delicate sky-blue sphere 
laced with slowly swirling veils of white, rising gradually like a small pearl in a thick sea 
of black mystery. It takes more than a moment to fully realize this is Earth . . . home. 
- Edgar Mitchell, USA

My view of our planet was a glimpse of divinity. 
- Edgar Mitchell, USA

For the first time in my life I saw the horizon as a curved line. It was accentuated by a thin 
seam of dark blue light – our atmosphere. Obviously this was not the ocean of air I had been 
told it was so many times in my life. I was terrified by its fragile appearance. 
- Ulf Merbold, Federal Republic of Germany

A Chinese tale tells of some men sent to harm a young girl who, upon seeing her beauty, 
become her protectors rather than her violators. That’s how I felt seeing the Earth for the 
first time. I could not help but love and cherish her. 
- Taylor Wang, China/USA