Planet Earth

The image of Earth in space like a blue marble highlighted the planets fragility and the beauty of Earth.
(Image: © NASA)
Source: Space.com

Earth is not only the third planet from the sun but also the only planet that supports life. Earth has been the fifth largest planet has a diameter of roughly 8000 miles and it’s round in shape due to gravity. Around 71% of the earth is covered with water with a fifth of the remaining percentage been oxygen produced by plants. Since the formation of the earth many years ago, a lot has happened and most supported by advanced technology such as exploring the universe, below will help you learn more about planet earth.

Planet Earth
Source:  National Geographic(https://www.youtube.com/natgeo)

Things used to study planet earth

ISRO, NASA, and many other space agencies employ different types of technology to help us understand more about our home, planet earth. They use cutting-edge technology such as sensors and airborne instruments from satellites and also super computers which act as visualizing methods. Some things that are used to study the earth include 

  • Small Satellites, big science, this involves use CubeSats which range in small size as that of a pint of ice cream to a loaf of bread, they are tiny to an extent that you can hold them on your palm. Inside this satellite, each of them consists of electronics, instruments, and also radios to enable communication. NASA is gradually developing some more advanced technology which will enable us to know more about the earth, these components are aiming to make improvements on measurements, onboard data processing systems that will ease the retrieval of data. Each developed technology has to be tested through labs, on aircraft, or even in remote areas. Traditionally, it has been a risky encounter to send unproven something to orbit, however, CubeSats has been of help for instance, in most cases where American launches a rocket, it always contains CubeSats which not only acts as a secondary payload by reducing the cost incurred during the launch but also helps in quick access on the space, therefore, CubeSats are the perfect platform to help in demonstrating how the advanced technology will perform in orbit.
  • Meet Cubert, the main mission is to reduce or get rid of the noise. The component is designed purposely to detect and also filter any radio frequency interference which eventually benefits any future satellite missions, radio frequency interference is all over, sources such as cellphones, radio and TV transmission without forgetting satellite broadcast, are easy to recognize due to its annoying static when you can’t get access to your favorite radio channel clearly because another station is nearby. Similarly, the same affect the quality of data that NASA’s satellite instruments such as microwave, radiometers collect data regarding soil moisture, meteorology and climate are likely to face difficulties when striving to obtain high-quality data. Cubert comes in, carrying a new technology that helps in detecting and filtering any RFI that satellite may encounter from space, therefore, reducing the amount of data directed back on earth, hence increasing the quality of climate measurements.
  • Unlocking the Mysteries of Ocean surface currents and winds, DopplerScatt is an instrument used by Nasa scientists to help them in unlocking the mysteries associated with ocean surfaces and winds, the instrument is capable of measuring both winds and currents respectively. The spinning radar pings around the ocean surface taking measurements from multiple directions at once.

Effects of Advanced Technology on Planet Earth

Industrialization and technological advancement around the world has resulted in misuse and damage of the natural earth through the following

  • Air and Water Pollution, air pollution occurs mostly when harmful substances such as gases, like carbon monoxide, nitric acid, sulfur dioxide, and carbon oxide are emitted into the earth’s atmosphere, all this emerged as a result of industries activities such as factories, burning of fossils, power stations, and vehicles. These activities brought up negative health impacts on human beings and animals as well as global warming, due to the increased amount of greenhouse gases in space which led to global temperature rise.

Water pollution involves contamination of water bodies like oceans, rivers, and even underground water, most of the water pollutants include, industrial effluents, domestic waste, insecticides, and pesticides. A good example is the releasing of untreated wastewater into body masses causing degradation of aquatic ecosystems.

  • Depletion of natural resources refers to the consumption of resources more than it can be replenished, this can be either through deforestation, mining of fossil fuels and minerals among others such as soil erosion, contamination of resources.

Technologies Likely to help save Planet Earth

Technology has a bigger role to play in order to make planet earth a better and comfortable place for human beings to continue plodding in, however, some of these technologies come in with some risky despite much importance on the earth, These technologies are,

  • Plant-based plastic, some initiatives are underway to ban or reduce the use of single-use- plastic in some countries globally. Plant-based plastic that is prone to biodegrade is one of the potential solutions which is been deployed to replace the use of plastics. Avani Eco, a company in Indonesia, started making some bio-plastic from cassavas since 2014
  • Environmental sensors, in order to save the plant, frequent measuring is required through the use of distributed networked sensors. In the 1980s, taller, smokestack was used to reduce local air pollution along the east coast. The problem was as a result of correlated smokestacks at a higher rate resulting in acidic rain hence, causing deforestation. Since the technology has advanced, some small networked sensors have been employed to help in monitoring of air and also water quality, tracking of acidification, identifying of pollutants and also real-time-data on phenomena which are important to social as well as economic of the human being.
  • Carbon capture, the process is also known as Direct Air Capture (DAC) there is plenty of carbon dioxide in the space which is warming the earth. Carbon capture storage class of technology is emerging to help in saving the health of our planet for years to come. This technology permits the separation of carbon dioxide from gases emitted in industrial and electricity generation sequences either through; pre-combustion capture, post-combustion capture, and oxyfuel combustion. The carbon is channeled below the ground through pipeline transportation and is store in the rock formation, in the year 2017, the first world’s CO2 capture plant was established in Switzerland.
  • Artificial intelligence, this technology may doom us all through a number of premises which includes, nuclear annihilation, strategic species eradication, and the rise of robots, however, artificial intelligence could be the only sure way we can save ourselves from the state of the grave we finding ourselves in. Microsoft’s AI is activities put down to harness the application of AI for the betterment of the earth, the program is applied in biodiversity, climate, agriculture, and water areas. AI technology is mostly being applied in agricultural practices and will soon change how farming is carried out in most industrialized nations, reduce air pollution. For instance, AI technology is our bedrock for our future to help us undo the harm already caused on the planet.

Future of the Earth

It is believed that carbon dioxide has a long life in space, earth’s life span is tied to that of the sun for over 1.1 billion years, therefore, increasing the service of the earth will cause acceleration of the inorganic carbon cycle hence reducing CO2 levels used by plants. Lack of vegetation will result in the inadequacy of oxygen in the atmosphere therefore making the life of animals impossible. Earth’s temperature may rise up to 100 degrees in a period of 1.5 billion years leading to ocean water evaporating and lost to the atmosphere. Thereafter sun will evolve and become a huge red giant for around 250 times its original size hence losing 30% of its mass causing the earth to move to an orbit due to tidal effects.

Sources:

  1. http://solarsystem.nasa.gov
  2. http://zdnet.com

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