We all know the Earth looks like a giant blue marble in photos, but now, we can keep tabs on our planet's appearance on the daily.
NASA launched a new website Monday that features new, full images taken of the sunlit side of the Earth every day by a camera on the Deep Space Climate Observatory (Dscovr) located one million miles away. Once daily, NASA will post at least a dozen color photos of the Earth taken 12 to 36 hours earlier by the Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera, or EPIC.
In addition to the main image of Earth in the center, the website also shows a diagram of the planet's position in relation to the sun as it rotates. You can play something like a slideshow of these images so you can see the Earth rotate to check out the whole globe in a GIF-y kind of way. The website also features an archive of EPIC images in case you miss something.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA for short, originally partnered with NASA to organize the Dscovr mission to ensure the timeliness and accuracy of space weather alerts. Scientists also use EPIC's images to study changes in such features as vegetation, ozone, aerosols, cloud height and reflectivity around the globe daily.
EPIC is made up of a 4 megapixel CCD camera and telescope. The camera takes a series of 10 images in a variety of filters to produce different types of pictures with the red, green and blue channels used to create the color photos. The resolution of the camera is somewhere between 6.2 and 9.4 miles. You won't see stars in any of EPIC's photos because Earth is so bright in space that the images had to be taken with very short exposure times.
All of the images posted on the website are in the public domain, so expect an epic timelapse video of the Earth to go viral soon.
Via: The Verge