Blue Marble is an interactive experience that emphasizes Earth’s fragility by allowing players to alter factors like the distance from our planet to the sun, emissivity, and the star we orbit, then observe the effects on the average global temperature using a real climate model. Watch the planet swing from a frozen ball of ice to a desert wasteland and back as you attempt to balance the circumstances that make life on Earth possible. There are over 15 total habitable combinations. Can you find them all?
TOO HOT, TOO COLD, OR JUST RIGHT?
Blue Marble uses a simple climate model to determine the planet’s temperature given three independent variables: distance from Earth to the sun, luminosity, and emissivity. Distance is provided in astral units (AU) and can be set to match any of the solar system’s planets. Luminosity is a measure of a star’s brightness and is displayed as a multiple of our own sun’s brightness. Emissivity is a ratio that describes the amount of energy the Earth radiates.
- D is the average distance from Earth to the sun.
- L is luminosity, a measure of a stars intrinsic brightness.
- e is emissivity, the ratio of energy that Earth radiates.
- A is Earth’s albedo–the fraction of solar energy reflected back into space (we used 0.3, although this number would likely change as conditions on Earth did).
- s is the Stefan-Boltzmann constant, approximately 5.67×10-8 JK-4m-2s-1
UNLOCK THE STARS
As you find find new combinations of distance, luminosity, and emissivity that could support life on earth, you will unlock dossiers on nearby stars. Each contains interesting facts, and some will even teach you how to find that star in the night sky! Blue Marble contains 11 star dossiers; can you unlock them all?