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Tournament Earth - Best of EO: Round 3

Two rounds of voting, two rounds of stunning upsets. As we head into round 3, only two of the top eight seeds (#1s and #2s) remain. It is time now to cast your votes for the best of the Earthly 8. Voting ends on April 13 at 9 a.m. U.S. Eastern Time.

To celebrate Earth Observatory’s 20th anniversary and the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, we asked readers to pick our all-time best image. If you want to read more, view a larger version of an image, or see complementary images, click on the image headline.

Click to vote for one image in each pair, then remember to hit “submit your ballot” at the bottom of the page.

View the results.

Region: Past Winners


Ocean Sand, Bahamas

Tides and ocean currents have sculpted the sand and seaweed beds into multicolored, fluted patterns.

#5 Seed



A View of Earth from Saturn

Seen from a billion kilometers away, through the ice and dust particles of Saturn’s rings, Earth appears as a tiny, bright dot.

#2 Seed

Region: Home Planet


Twin Blue Marbles

This view of Earth from space is a fusion of science and art, drawing on data from multiple satellite missions and the talents of NASA scientists and graphic artists.

#1 Seed



Fire in the Sky and on the Ground

Astronauts on the International Space Station captured these views of the aurora australis and wildfires in Australia.

#7 Seed

Region: Ice and Land


Where the Dunes End

Namibia’s sea of sand is bounded on its northern side by the impermanent Kuiseb River.

#8 Seed



Retreat of the Columbia Glacier

The recent retreat of the glacier’s West Branch took scientists by surprise.

#6 Seed

Region: Sea and Sky


Atafu Atoll, Tokelau

The ring shape is the result of coral reefs building up around a former volcanic island in the South Pacific.

#8 Seed



Raikoke Erupts

An unexpected series of blasts from a remote volcano in the Kuril Islands sent ash and volcanic gases streaming high over the North Pacific Ocean.

#6 Seed