Our big blue marble not very blue
May 8th, 2012
12:03 PM ET

Our big blue marble not very blue

Water covers more than two-thirds of the Earth’s surface, but what would happen if you collected all of it one place?

The illustration above, from the United States Geological Survey, shows the size of a sphere needed to hold all of our planet’s water compared to the size of Earth itself.

The sphere, which is about 860 miles in diameter and 1.39 million cubic kilometers, is about 1/1000 the size of Earth (or 1/20 the size of the moon).

More than 95% of the water sphere comes from world’s oceans, with the remainder made up of water from all other sources including lakes, rivers, and ice caps –- even the water found in plants and animals, according to the USGS.

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Filed under: On Earth • Science Education
The Bluest Sky
May 8th, 2012
09:56 AM ET

The Bluest Sky

"The main parachutes deploy for Boeing's crew capsule during a parachute drop test on May 2, 2012. This is the second successful parachute drop test for its Crew Space Transportation (CST) spacecraft, part of Boeing's effort to develop commercial crew transportation capabilities that could ferry U.S. astronauts to and from low-Earth orbit and the International Space Station.

To accomplish the task, a helicopter lifted the CST-100 crew capsule to about 10,000 feet above the Delmar Dry Lake Bed near Alamo, Nev. A drogue parachute deployment sequence was initiated, followed by deployment of the main parachute. The capsule descended to a smooth ground landing, cushioned by six inflated air bags."

Source: NASA

Filed under: Light up the screen

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