NASA just revealed a July 6th breathtaking snapshot of the sun-lit Earth, taken by the EPIC camera on NASA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory.
This stunning snapshot was taken from a distance of 1.6 million kilometers from our amazing planet. NASA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) is equipped with EPIC- Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera, bound to snap series of images ranging from infrared wavelengths to ultraviolet.
This breathtaking snapshot was captured on July 6th. In case you haven’t noticed, lost in all the marbly blue details, North and Central America feature in the photo, mingling with the cloud blankets, sun light and the deep blues of the waters.
Central to the image are the shallow seas of the Caribbean islands, shown in turquoise like nuances. All the blue tint of the image is due to air molecules affecting sunlight. As beautiful as it may seem to us, the EPIC team hopes that they will find away to remove this effect from the snapshots to follow.
And there will be more, as NASA plans to release at least one photo every day as soon as it gets the snapshots streamlined. The EPIC team however will receive a lot more than a couple of images. But then again, these Earth snapshots are crucial for a first-time comprehensive study of variations on Earth on a daily basis.
The EPIC snapped images are only available for up to 36 hours, so streamlining will also help NASA keep good track of the precious study material.
As for this breathtaking snapshot of the Earth, even President Obama tweeted:
“Just got this new blue marble photo from @NASA. A beautiful reminder that we need to protect the only planet we have”.
DSCOVR is located between Earth and the Sun. The mission of the satellite is to monitor solar wind, crucial as it is to the accuracy of space weather events and forecast developing. What its capabilities can develop in, remains to be seen.
Beyond monitoring solar wind, the images captured by EPIC render DSCOVR as a primary tool for NASA and NOAA to measure ozone levels, map volcanic ash and dust on Earth, and, as NASA’s Charlie Bolden stated:
“DSCOVR’s observations on Earth, as well as its measurements and early warnings of space weather events caused by the sun, will help every person to monitor the ever-changing Earth, and to understand how our planet fits into its neighbourhood in the solar system”.
At this moment, DSCOVR is hovering at Lagrange point 1. Lagrange points are equilibrium points where for instance DSCOVR can easily orbit between two bodies, at the same position. On the Earth-Sun line, Lagrange point 1 is the most stable point that would allow DSCOVR and EPIC to look at the sun-lit Earth side at every moment.
As such, prepare for more amazing and breathtaking snapshots from EPIC, possibly at more wavelengths than just this one.
Photo Credits nesdis.noaa.gov.com
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