Home » News & Blogs » The Overview Effect
Bookmark and Share
The Daily Planet

The Overview Effect

7 Dec 2012, 21:59 UTC
The Overview Effect
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

A new film celebrates the perspective that comes with seeing the Earth from afar.

Twenty-five years ago, writer Frank White came up with a name for the profound aesthetic — almost religious — feeling that many astronauts report after seeing the Earth from space. He called it The Overview Effect, and wrote a book and founded an institute of the same name to explore the phenomenon further. Now, to mark the 40th anniversary of the famous Apollo 17 “Blue Marble” photo, there’s a documentary film.
The folks at the Overview Institute are aware that this is all a little too touchy-feely for some people. As they say on their website, “The Overview Effect, while intuitively valid to many, is often marginalized as a philosophical, metaphysical or aesthetic epiphany, not the fundamental perspective-altering experience that both astronauts and scientists suggest that it is.”
I used to be skeptical myself. I figured the view of Earth from space would be breath-taking, sure, but just an extension of other awe-inspiring natural sights. But after hearing many astronauts — who tend to be practical, no-nonsense people – talk about the experience, I’m prepared to accept that there’s something qualitatively different about seeing the planet ...

Latest Vodcast

Latest Podcast

Advertise PTTU

NASA Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture of the Day