Mt. Vesuvius from Space

As Phil Plait informs us at the link above, this gorgeous shot was taken from the International Space Station on Jan 1, 2013. That so many would desire to live in a place so beautiful, with full knowledge of the possible destruction that this active volcano could wreak on their lives (as it did less than two millennia ago), speaks volumes about us.

Sometimes when you take a picture of Earth, it can be a self-portrait of humanity itself. It’s a stunningly beautiful place, and that seems to trump danger and risk for a great many people. 

(via Bad Astronomy)

(via jaredbkeller)