Privileged Planet: Our Thin, Exquisitely Delicate Atmosphere
Gonzalez and Richards write in The Privileged Planet about the set of remarkable coincidences that underlie our planet's ability to support intelligent life and that simultaneously allow us a nightly view to the stars, something that wouldn't be possible looking through a thick, opaque cover.
It takes a time-lapse moving picture like this (courtesy of NASA and editor Alex Rivest) to get a really clear sense of how thin and exquisite is the film of gases that surrounds our planet. As an informative accompanying blog explains, only 60 miles of atmosphere separates us from space. Watching this you get a powerful sense of the delicacy of our position and the privilege of it. The soundtrack by Moby is a nice touch too.