The minute Neil Armstrong stepped off the lunar lander
onto the surface of the moon, the Earth got smaller. We began to see
our planet as a whole planet, as a global system, fueled by the sun
and nourished by rocks. Our exploration of space
has revolutionized exploration of Earth and its oceans.
For the first time ever, oceanographers could observe
complex features of the ocean's surface and witness the movements of
waves and currents over thousands of miles. They were provided a picture
far larger and far more complex than ever before imagined.
In this section, we will examine current scientific
thinking about the origins of the Universe and our planet. By gaining
an understanding of the cosmic forces that govern the Universe, we can
better appreciate the place our own planet occupies in the cosmic web.
We will explore the scientific basis for the formation of Earth, its
oceans and its creatures. Both space science and ocean science have
contributed to our understanding of these origins and the story they
reveal has important implications for the future of humans on our planet.