The Beauty of Pollution

Image Credit: NASA/Joshua Stevens/Adam Voiland

NASA has created a model called, Goddard Earth Observing System Forward Processing (GEOS FP). It shows Aerosol particles that are suspended in our atmosphere in a visual fashion that is easy to understand. Not only is it beautiful (to be honest wanted to make it my desktop photo), but it is also informative. At first glance it doesn’t look like much more than an abstract, sci-fi representation of our planet, yet there is so much information beneath the aesthetic surface.

Pollution that can be seen by the naked eye is smog, ash, and trash, but there is so much more that we can’t see at play. A diagram such as one given by the GEOS FP can visualize the issue of pollution for people. Aerosol particles, good and bad, exist in every ecosystem. The beauty behind this diagram is the visual appeal that complements the information. It not only has a purpose and vital story to tell, it also is a stunning work of art.

This model is fascinating because it is innovative in its technology and its way of reaching out to its audience, yet it is so creative. The programming and brainstorming that went into creating this model is just as much of an art as the outcome itself. Creativity is when existing elements and ideas are intertwined to create something new (Jones, 3). However, innovation is when ideas that aren’t necessarily creative are put into action and are funneled towards consumers (Brandellero, 62). The mesh of these two worlds results in a stunning piece of working art such as this sample of GEOS FP‘s work shown above.


Amanda M. C. Brandellero & Robert C. Kloosterman (2010) Keeping the market at bay: exploring the loci of innovation in the cultural industries, Creative Industries Journal, 3:1, 61-77

Jones, Candace, et al. The Oxford Handbook of Creative Industries. Oxford University Press, 2015. Ch. 1.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: