The Blue Marble

Sunday, April 22nd, 2018, is Earth Day. Use this activity to demonstrate the various mappings of our 3-d Earth to a 2-d piece of paper. Students compare maps with this famous photo and check to see which characteristics are maintained and which are distorted.


Clicking on this image will show a larger, expandable image in a new window.

In honor of Earth Day we encourage you to show your classes the beauty of the Earth and remind everyone of one of the first times that it was seen in its entirety from space, December 7, 1972 from an Apollo mission.  

This video was produced by the Overview Institute to explain the effect of seeing the Earth from space. From space the Earth is immediately understood to be a tiny, fragile ball of life, hanging in the void, shielded and nourished by a paper-thin atmosphere.   


For members we have an editable Word doc and our solution.

BlueMarble.doc         BlueMarble-solutions.pdf

This activity could be a starting or finishing place for a classroom attempt at drawing our continents and oceans on an orange and then trying to create a flat representation of that 3-d construction by peeling it. Let students figure out what problems occur in that translation. Or for Earth Day you could use one of our two previous posts having to do with conservation and recycling; Fat Tuesday or Light Bulbs.



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