Marvel at NASA’s EPIC Blue Marble Earth photo

22 Jul 20154 Shares

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NASA yesterday released this extremely cool image, which shows the entire sunlit side of the Earth.

The photo was taken, at a distance of a million miles, by a camera on board the Deep Space Climate Observatory satellite (DSCOVR).

The photo was taken by NASA’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC), a four megapixel CCD camera and telescope. It was generated by combining three separate images to create the photographic-quality image.

NASA Blue Marble

The image of Earth taken by the EPIC camera on the DSCOVR satellite

Full photos of the Earth like this one are called a ‘Blue Marble’ and they are always, in fact, composite images, as that is the only way to give such a seamless portrait of the Earth.

The original Blue Marble, taken in 1972, is one of the most reproduced images of all time.

NASA Blue Marble

The original Blue Marble, taken in 1972

This Blue Marble, which was taken on 6 July, is just one of many the DSCOVR mission is set to take: once it begins regular data acquisition, the EPIC will provide a daily series of Earth images, which will be posted to a dedicated web page starting in September.

The primary aim of the DSCOVR mission, which launched in February and settled into its final position a million miles from Earth in June, is to provide information on heat and radiation changes in the Earth’s atmosphere and allow for timely forecasts of space weather events.

Gigglebit is Siliconrepublic.com’s daily dose of the funny and fantastic in science and tech, to help start your day on a lighter note.

Blue Marble photos courtesy of NASA

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Brigid O Gorman is the sub-editor of Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com