500th Anniversary of Humanity’s First Circumnavigation of Earth


The Portuguese explorer Magellan left his legacy in the first circumnavigation of planet Earth our first orbital experience of our home planet and today we’re looking forward 500 years from that first voyage. We see the expanse of space the cosmic ocean that we’ve since conquered and today as we look forward beyond the legacy of Magellan we can see where we’ll go in the next 500 years into that forever frontier, Earth, the ocean planet. The Portuguese explorer Magellan gave us the first orbit of our own planet 500 years ago today. We see Earth through new eyes, through satellite views that show us the Earth’s oceans that Magellan experienced himself from space. Little did he know as he sailed the oceans, we can look forward 500 years to the cosmic oceans that today we sail. Magellan’s ships carried him around our Earth at a time when it was unimaginable. Now his legacy lives on in space through spacecraft named for Magellan who set sail from a space shuttle 30 years ago to map our our sister planet Venus in all of its glory. Perhaps it’s former ocean world as was Earth. The cosmic ocean calls us every night across the Milky Way into the space. We now experience through the eyes of the Hubble Space Telescope and beyond. This cosmic ocean is a forever frontier for humanity and it lives on in the record of space exploration. 50 years ago we explored space from beyond Earth at the Moon as the voyages of project Apollo gave us ‘Earth Rise.’ You see our ocean world from the landscapes and the barren landscapes of our nearest neighbor a Moon or its seas are frozen in rock. Today through spacecraft known as the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, we can see the Moon up close as if we were there flying over its surface. We can also imagine living with a star, our planet Sun Our Sun drives the energy of our solar system and it shows us what other stars are like today. We’ve set sail to get to know the Sun even better though a mission known as the Parker Solar Probe, because the Sun’s energy drives the circulation of our oceans and our planet. We move on to Venus our sister world where the spacecraft Magellan gave us the views that carry our imagination to the cosmic oceans of this world where we believe its oceans were lost in time, billions of years ago. And from Venus on to the planet Mars where we ask the tough questions. Are we alone? Is this a place we’re going and on Mars? We know the record of water is lurking in the rocks in its climate history and we look beneath its landscapes into the story of those rocks from the voyages of spacecraft known as curiosity the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. These spacecraft show us the rock escapes where the record of the oceans and the seas and the lakes of Mars is written in the stones of time. So from Mars, we can see also the record of water in planets like Jupiter where its beautiful systems of clouds and circulation can be captured with spacecraft through the minds eyes of humanity. We move on to the beautiful planet known as Saturn where when we see Earth that the scale of Saturn. We imagine how small we are in that cosmic ocean and from Saturn we can look at its largest moon, Titan, where oceans exist but not of water little did Magellan know that these other worlds, ocean worlds, would harbor different kinds of fluids. Today the ocean universe is dramatic. We see the even at the planet known as Pluto, now a dwarf world, but still in its landscapes the magic of what an ocean world might have looked like Beyond Earth it gives us the views that we can expect of oceanic worlds around other stars light-years away unseen by humanity. But our vision airing of them carried by the grand telescopes in space takes us there. Extending our presence Hubble and next up is the James Webb Space Telescope a cosmic Voyager like Magellan. Launching in 2021 it’ll extend our imagination to those worlds and the bigger cosmic ocean landscapes that we can only see in our minds eye and back home to Earth, the Earth the Magellan experienced, can be now experienced from space in the same way that Magellan experienced sailing it. From the record of biology on Earth and circulation and energy we can come home to the Iberian Peninsula where Magellan set sail 500 years ago and today thanks to Jose Marques and his team we commemorate the 500th anniversary of our oceanic exploration that carries us forward today to the exploration of deep space the forever frontier. Thanks to you Magellan. We’re there.

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Comments

  1. NASA, truly a gift to the US and the world. Thank you.

    This vid spurred a thought: Could we actually move Pluto closer to the Sun? If it is indeed a frozen water world, how nice would it be to have it closer and become a liquid water world.

  2. "Fernão de Magalhães nasceu no norte de Portugal, ca. de 1480."
    Ferdinand Magellan was born in the north of Portugal, circa 1480."

  3. He never got around the world. He died in the tropical waters of Mactan Island within the Philippines. If anyone got around the globe first, it was his servant Enrique who actually originated from the area and was enslaved in Europe before only to be taken by Magellan around the world. It is debatable if Enrique got exactly to his home island, so maybe Commander Elcano and the remainders of the Armada de Molucca can be named first. But certainly not Magellan who died by getting involved in spreading Christianity in the Philippines which proved to be his ultimate demise.

  4. And He didn't know that soon the land that he "claimed" as spain(Philippines) will be under 300 years of harsh spanish rule, more than 30 years of unindependent american rule and 5 years of japanese occupation during WWII.

  5. The first travel around the world started at 1519, and ends in 1522.
    The first person (captain) who finished it was ElCano.
    This travel was named Magallanes-Elcano.
    Excuse my English.

  6. Magellan didnt circunnavigate the Earth, but Juan Sebastián Elcano. Magellan died in Cebu during the trip.

  7. Why all the hating on Pluto? Pluto was planet 9 for all of my childhood. Pluto is cool. And it IS a planet.

  8. To talk about the first circumnavigation of the globe and not to mention Spain is like talking about the first moon landing without mentioning USA.

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