In the words of Carl Sagan, "The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena." But to us, it's everything. The place where we live, love, work and play. The place where we are born and where we die. From space, Earth is big, blue and beautiful; fragile and inspiring. It's the only planet we've ever been to. In honor of Earth Day, take a moment to enjoy some spectacular images of our home, available for download, in our gallery below. And take a moment to appreciate the only home we've ever known.
LATEST IMAGE: Blue lagoon
This image, taken on 10 May 2001, shows one of the islands of New Caledonia, an archipelago 1200 kilometers (750 miles) east of Australia. New Caledonia contains the world’s third-largest coral reef structure, and its coral reefs support an unusually large diversity of species, including many predators, big fish, turtles, and the world’s third-largest dugong population. (Dugongs are large marine mammals.) In this natural-color image, the islands appear in shades of green and brown — mixtures of vegetation and bare ground. The surrounding waters range from pale aquamarine to deep blue, and the color differences reflect varying water depths. Over coral reef ridges and sand bars, the water is shallowest and palest in color.