April 21, 2011

The Earth was an Exoplanet

Did you know that the earth can be considered as an exoplanet? Well, that is if you look back in time (and space), in the distant past of the early earth, billions of years ago. During that time, our planet would not resemble anything close to our present day earth.

However, imagining how the earth was a few hundred millions of years ago may give us good insights in studying the habitability of exoplanets as well. And that is exactly what the Planetary Habitability Lab at the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo has done with their latest visualization, the Visible Paleo-Earth project.

Headed by Prof. Abel Méndez, the Visible Paleo-Earth project is a true-color visualization of the evolution of the Earth’s surface from paleo-climates to the present day. Using paleogeography and paleoclimate reconstructions combined with NASA satellite imagery, the team generated a global visual appearance of Earth in the last 750 million years, around the late Cambrian Period.

Now sit back and take a trip to the distant past by visiting The Planetary Habitability Lab as they present this project on Earth Day, April 22, 2011.