The exhibition has been coordinated and produced by the European Space Agency (ESA), to celebrate fifty years of European collaboration in space. It has been realised in close partnership with the Italian Space Agency, the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the European Commission and Roma Capitale. The exhibition is open to the public from 30 September to 2 November 2014.
Through satellite images and videos, the exhibition takes visitors on a journey to some of the most beautiful and remote places on Earth. This collection of images demonstrates the fragility of our planet and the challenges posed by climate change. Satellite eyes provide images of an ever-changing Earth: glaciers melting, sea levels rising, rainforests threatened by deforestation, growing desertification affecting croplands and uncontrolled urban sprawl. They highlight the importance of satellites in the management and protection of natural resources and the global environment.
'My Planet from Space: Fragility and Beauty' is designed to address a wide audience, with particular focus on the younger generation. It aims to increase awareness towards a more environmentally responsible lifestyle, promote the sustainable exploitation of natural resources and highlight the great potential of innovative space technology.
The exhibition is divided into six main areas:
Polar regions are the most sensitive to climate change and considered the best indicators of our planet's health. Satellite images and other data show recent developments in ice cover in the Arctic and Antarctic.
These satellite images emphasise phenomena like rising sea levels and threats to aquatic ecosystems. The exhibit also addresses the risks posed to major rivers and lakes worldwide by the intense exploitation of their waters.
Satellites can map the impact that CO2 emissions have on the global environment. They acquire data on air pollution, water vapour concentration in the atmosphere, ozone and other trace gases.
FORESTS and AGRICULTURE
Part of the exhibition reminds us of the importance of forests for the global ecosystem. Forests are essential to biodiversity and act as a natural laboratory for the absorption of CO2.
Satellite images document the conversion of forests to agricultural landscapes such as rice paddies, olive groves and farming with centre pivot irrigation. They highlight how satellites can supportcrop cultivation and forecast cropyield.
This area introduces images of the planet's major deserts like the Sahara, Rub al-Khali, Taklamakan, Atacama and other areas threatened by desertification.
A global map of city distribution indicates the impact that urban areas have on our environment. A night-time image of Earth, showing the concentration of lights, gives the viewer the immediate understanding of the degree of overcrowding on our planet.
The exhibition ends with images of Earth taken from the International Space Station by ESA Astronaut and "Ambassador" for the six-month Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, Luca Parmitano, during the mission "Volare" of ASI, the Italian Space Agency.