Watch one EPIC year on Earth, from one million miles away

22 Jul 2016

A new video produced by NASA uses thousands of images showing the view of Earth from space accumulated over the past year to show our planet in all its glory.

NASA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) has spent the past year one million miles away, with its Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) trained on Earth this whole time.

The result is a composite video that takes in over 3,000 images of Earth, over 365 days, showing us the entire yearly cycle of our planet.

Earth from Space

Earth from space

Situated at a location known as ‘Lagrange point 1’, DSCOVR is currently resting between the twin gravitational pulls of Earth and the Sun.

Taking a new batch of pictures – at different wavelengths – every two hours, the resulting images are accurate enough to show a solar eclipse march across the planet earlier this year.

Each picture on its own reveals little, but, when combined to offer colouring “the way a human would see the planet from DSCOVR” the results are obvious.

The composite images capture the ever-changing motion of clouds and weather systems, and the fixed features of Earth such as deserts, forests and the distinct blues of different seas.

Weather monitor

EPIC’s imagery will ultimately allow scientists to monitor weather and environmental incidents on an extremely macro scale.

EPIC will allow scientists to monitor ozone and aerosol levels in Earth’s atmosphere, as well as cloud height, vegetation properties and the ultraviolet reflectivity of Earth.

DSCOVR was launched into orbit in February last year, during one of SpaceX’s many trial and error attempts to land a rocket back on Earth from space.

Main image of Earth via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic