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The port of Qinhuangdao in northeastern China is the country's largest coal hub. From here, the raw material is brought by train to southern China. The Middle Kingdom is the largest coal consumer in the world. (Photo: BenjaminGrantOverview / DigitalGlobe, for the German edition Dorling Kindersley Verlag)

Der Hafen von Qinhuangdao im Nordosten Chinas ist der größte Kohle-Umschlagplatz des Landes. Von hier wird der Rohstoff per Zug nach Südchina gebracht. Das Reich der Mitte ist der größte Kohlekonsument der Welt. (Foto: BenjaminGrantOverview / DigitalGlobe; für die dt. Ausg. Dorling Kindersley Verlag)

The port of Qinhuangdao in northeastern China is the country's largest coal hub. From here, the raw material is brought by train to southern China. The Middle Kingdom is the largest coal consumer in the world. (Photo: BenjaminGrantOverview / DigitalGlobe, for the German edition Dorling Kindersley Verlag)

Only from space is the earth visible in its full extent. But astronauts not only see the beauty of the blue planet, but also the full extent of human influence: megacities, mines, crop fields, highway loops. You can see aesthetic forms, but they also make you think. This impression leaves the picture book "Overview - fascinating pictures of our Earth from space".

Red, purple, green, blue and yellow stripes, sometimes wide, sometimes narrow, form a colorful patchwork quilt. A sea of ​​flowers may be different than the thousands of tulips in the Dutch Lisse region. Whether tulip fields, circular grain fields in the desert of Saudi Arabia or coal mines, motorway junctions and megacities - from space the human influence on the natural form of the earth becomes clear.

Awe of the earth

"The earth is dramatically beautiful when you look at it from orbit, more beautiful than any image you've ever seen. It's a poignant experience because you're so far from Earth, but at the same time you feel that incredible connection to it, "Nasa astronaut Samuel Thornton Durrance describes the view from the earth. He flew into space for the first time in 1990 with the Space Shuttle Columbia. From this reverence for the beauty of our planet tell astronauts again and again. In 1987, the science writer Frank White gives this experience a name: The Overview Effect - the overview effect.

Exactly this effect makes the illustrated book "Overview - fascinating images of our Earth from space" for all non-astronauts. "Only from a distance is it possible to admire our homeland as a whole, to grasp its beauty and to realize how fragile it is, " explains Benjamin Grant. The author has compiled satellite images from his social media project "Daily Overview" in an illustrated book. In addition to pristine areas, there are more than 200 places that show where and how people harvest, dig, live, drive and dispose. Activities "whose impact is most apparent from a cosmic perspective, " says Grant.

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To the book:

Benjamin Grant
Overview
Fascinating images of our Earth from space
Dorling Kindersley Verlag
Munich 2016, 29.95

.De science.de - Xenia El Mourabit
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