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.
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.
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.
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Blue Marble photos courtesy of NASA
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