We’ve seen ‘Blue Marble’ photos of Earth before, but this latest NASA photo is different: it’s the first photo of its kind shot from above our planet’s North Pole. The photo is a composite of images captured by a satellite as it passed over the North Pole 15 times at an altitude of 512 miles.
(via Gizmodo via PopPhoto)
Image credit: Blue Marble 2012 – ‘White Marble’ Arctic View by NASA Goddard Photo and Video
After NASA published its latest jaw-dropping “Blue Marble” photograph of Earth last month, many of you wondered how “real” the image was. Here’s NASA’s explanation on how their images are created:
The Suomi NPP satellite is in a polar orbit around Earth at an altitude of 512 miles (about 824 kilometers), but the perspective of the new Eastern hemisphere ‘Blue Marble’ is from 7,918 miles (about 12,743 kilometers). NASA scientist Norman Kuring managed to ‘step back’ from Earth to get the big picture by combining data from six different orbits of the Suomi NPP satellite. Or putting it a different way, the satellite flew above this area of Earth six times over an eight hour time period. Norman took those six sets of data and combined them into one image.
So rather than being a composite of multiple images captured from the same perspective, they do in fact map images captured by the satellite onto a 3D sphere.
NASA has released another Blue Marble photograph of Earth. It calls this one the “most amazing, highest resolution image of Earth ever”. The image is a composite created from a number of photos of Earth’s surface captured on January 4, 2012, and weighs in at a massive 64-megapixels (8000×8000). You can download the full-res version here. Be warned though — it might crash your browser.
(via Gizmodo via PopSci)