By Thomas Giangreco, Interlibrary Loan, Government Documents, & Microforms

For as long as humans have walked the earth, we have gazed in awe and wonder at the night sky to see the stars as brilliant lights incandescent against the black velvet curtain of night. But what about the view of earth from space? What would we see from high above our terrestrial home? What would a visitor from an alien world see? Only since the advent of space flight in the second half of the last century have we been able to see our fragile, beautiful home as others would see it. From the vantage point of space we see our world, and perhaps ourselves, from a new perspective.

NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), the people who brought us the moon landing, Skylab, and the Mars Pathfinder, have now released a spectacular collection of photographs of the night-time earth as seen from space entitled Earth at Night (2019). What NASA has given us is a view of the nocturnal earth not shrouded in Stygian darkness, but vibrant and active with life, truly a planet that never sleeps!

As a publication of the federal government, Earth at Night and the photos it includes are in the public domain. This means the book, available as a free e-book on the NASA website, can be freely shared. Just a few of the images in this newly published collection include:


For anyone interested in NASA and space exploration, Fordham’s collection of government documents includes material from the 1960’s up to the present. Especially noteworthy are the publications reviewing the highlights of each of the moon landing missions and the congressional hearings regarding the Apollo 1 fire. There is also extensive material on the Skylab and Space Shuttle programs. Be sure not to miss Earth at Night. You can find the free e-book on the NASA website, or come in to view the print edition which is temporarily housed in the Walsh Library Interlibrary Loan Office (Room 132, inside the Reference Room), during the renovation of the Government Documents room.

Earth at Night just one of the many interesting and informative publications across a wide range of topics made available by the GPO (Government Publishing Office) through the FDLP (Federal Depository Library Program), of which Fordham has been a proud member since 1937. The FDLP is devoted to the mission of “keeping America informed” by the free of charge dissemination of non-classified government information and publications to participating libraries. You can find the Federal Register and Congressional Record, transcripts of congressional hearings, the Congressional Serial Set going back to 1789, United States Supreme Court Reports, and a multitude of federal department publications from every branch of the federal government. From the earliest acts of congress to the Mueller Report, our Government Documents collection is a primary source history of the United States government in one location. We look forward to seeing you after the renovations are complete in the spring of 2020.

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