It is Earth Day 2017 on Saturday, April 22. Since humankind has done a crummy job of taking care of it so far, NASA has launched a campaign where you can “adopt” a small piece of the planet to help them celebrate and raise awareness of Earth’s natural wonders.
All you have to do is visit NASA’s Adopt The Planet page. They have divided up a map of the Earth into 64,000 individual pieces, approximately 88 kilometers (55 miles) wide each, and are allowing people to assign their name to a randomly selected portion.
Once you’ve got your chunk of land (or 7 times out of 10, water), you’re awarded an interactive map and “certificate” that you can share on social media. It also gives you the option to print your map, but since it’s for Earth Day, you probably shouldn’t do that.
Best of all, you can delve into the satellite data taken from their fleet of 18 Earth science missions in space, including data about the area’s relative humidity, the level of chlorophyll, sea surface temperature, cloud height, and much more. You can access all of this data on NASA’s Worldview website and it’s actually some of the same data sets that their scientists use for studies.
Of course, NASA does a lot more than space stuff. Earth Day 2017 is all about educating people about the concepts of climate change and its unprecedented threat to our planet. As our planet’s biggest contributor to civil Earth science data, it’s a subject NASA is no doubt pretty keen on. Since you are currently using the program to float around a never-ending space of seeming nothingness, you should care too!