Since Soviets deployed the first satellite to orbit, NASA never ceased to amaze us with out-of-this-world images depicting various space bodies from colorful nebulas and spectacular galaxies to eerie lunar footprints and mysterious remote planets.
Recently the U.S. space agency released a .gif image of the Earth and moon quickly zooming past it. In the image you can only see the far side of the Moon and only for some brief seconds.
Although our natural satellite is shrouded in darkness, the Blue Planet is shown in a sunlit stance very similar with other images brought to us by the International Space Station.
NASA engineers explained that the images used to form the gif were obtained through the agency’s and NOAA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) from more than one million miles away. It is the first high resolution image of Earth sent by DSCOVR, a space weather satellite designed to keep track of solar winds and solar activity.
“It is surprising how much brighter Earth is than the moon. Our planet is a truly brilliant object in dark space compared to the lunar surface,”
noted Adam Szabo, chief NASA investigator for the DSCOVR project at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is currently involved in the project because the space satellite can help it provide U.S. agencies and local authorities with advanced warnings of solar explosions that may affect ground infrastructures such as power grids and mobile networks, or destabilize artificial satellites.
DSCOVR took the latest images with help from its four megapixel camera dubbed Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC), an imager that constantly supplies NASA and NOAA with spectral images of our planet. Those images can be later used by experts to assess ozone and aerosol levels, cloud altitude and density, vegetation state and UV radiation hitting the planet’s surface.
The camera is oriented towards the sunlit side of out planet as it revolves on its own axis. Images taken by this space camera are taken through 10 different filters that range from UV radiation to near infrared.
The vivid colors seen on Earth’s image were the result of laboratory work. NASA scientists overlaid three types of images that were taken in three different spectral wavelengths. The images, which were taken by EPIC in less than a second, were colored in red, blue, and receptively green.
NASA promised that it would post new images taken by EPIC on a separate website starting next month. Daily images will be available for everyone to see 12 to 36 hours after the satellite beams them back to Earth.
Image Source: Vox
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