Earth famously looks like a “pale blue dot” from faraway space, but NASA says our home planet wasn’t always that color. In an Instagram post on Wednesday afternoon, NASA Goddard shared an artist’s depiction of an ancient Earth covered in a haze that gives it an orange glow.
You know, kind of like President Donald Trump.
The peach-hued Earth in question existed more than 2.5 billion years ago, a time period that geologists refer to as the Archean eon. “We like to say that Archean Earth is the most alien planet we have geochemical data for,” NASA explains in its caption.
Indeed, ancient Earth was a very, very different place than it is today. Astronomers are looking at Earth’s past to help them understand what might constitute habitable conditions on distant planets. As part of an attempt to better understand the atmospheric haze that circled Archean Earth, a team of Goddard-led researchers has been studying Earth’s old skies.
They believe that the haze was “self-limiting, cooling the surface by about 36 degrees Fahrenheit,” and that it might have been orange in color.
Without any serious attempts to limit greenhouse gas emissions, there’s likely going to be a lot more haze clogging up modern Earth’s atmosphere. It won’t be the same as Archean Earth, but it will really suck.
Maybe Trump is denying climate change and trying to suppress any attempts to combat it because he wants the Earth to resemble his orange visage once again.
Photos via NASA/James Grebey