Backlighting can be all moody and subtle, but you can seldom go wrong with full-on, straight-behind illumination. Especially if your subject is the planet on which your family, friends and all of humanity happens to reside.
That’s what the trio of Apollo 17 astronauts — and soon, the whole world — discovered 41 years and two days ago today. Navigating towards the moon on Dec. 7, 1972, the spacecraft had the sun behind it, providing a rare, fully illuminated view of the Earth. Read more…
It looks like not even space photography has managed to escape the pixel war, but in the case of the Russian Federal Space Agency’s Elektro-L weather satellite, we’re not complaining. The video you see above is a time lapse put together from 6 days worth of 121-megapixel images taken every 30 minutes by the satellite. The images themselves are not composites of several either, they are just incredibly detailed photos of the entire planet taken from some 22 thousand miles away.
They’re so detailed, in fact, that the resolution comes out to about 1 kilometer per pixel — or in laymen’s terms: this ain’t no camera phone. To add a little bit of color to the proceedings the images are also taken in 4 rather than just 3 wavelengths, yielding that orange color which is actually infrared imaging of vegetation. You can click here to see some higher resolution photos from the Elektro-L, or here if you want to see some photos of the satellite itself.