See Earth every day from 1.6 million kms away

Today NASA paid off on its promise to launch a website featuring daily images from the Deep Space Climate Observatory– and it’s spectacular.

Nasa’s new website will also feature an archive of pictures taken by its Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC).

“Each daily sequence of images will show the Earth as it rotates, thus revealing the whole globe over the course of a day”.

Experts said that the earth images are not the main goal of the Deep Space Climate Observatory.

DSCOVR’s mission is to maintain the nation’s real-time solar wind monitoring capabilities, which are critical to the accuracy and lead time of space weather alerts and forecasts.

But the spacecraft also has a camera looking back at Earth, and a NASA website went live Monday showing the latest views from DSCOVR. The position gives the spacecraft uninterrupted views of the sunlit side of Earth and a place embedded in the stream of particles making up the supersonic solar wind flowing from the Sunday. The initial Earth images show the effects of sunlight scattered by air molecules, giving the images a characteristic bluish tint.

The images also help scientists to study things such as ozone and cloud height.

EPIC is a four megapixel CCD camera and telescope.

Previously they have released photographs of the Moon passing between where the camera is situated and the Earth.

There are other filters on the camera – from the ultraviolet to the near-infrared – that allow it to conduct various science investigations.

“The effective resolution of the DSCOVR EPIC camera is somewhere between 6.2 and 9.4 miles (10 and 15 kilometers)”, said Adam Szabo, DSCOVR project scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland.

The refrigerator-sized spacecraft – which has been known as DSCOVR, Triana and GoreSat, depending on the era – was launched in February after 17 years of ups and downs in mission development. Since Earth is so bright, the images are taken with very short exposures – between 20 to 100 milliseconds – drowning out the faint light of the Universe’s stars in the background.

Few images can put life’s trivialities into perspective quite like the sight of our planet in the interminable blackness of space.

NASA Launches New Website to Show Us Earth Seen from Space


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