On the 20th of July of this year, NASA released a new image of our world taken from space. This image was collected by a spacecraft called the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR), and it was taken from almost 1 million miles away from the surface of the planet.
Here is that image, in all of its glory:
|Our Earth from a distance of ~930,000 miles (1.5 million km), taken on 6 July 2015 by the DSCOVR spacecraft|
The primary goals of DSCOVR, which is run primarily through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), are to monitor solar wind conditions and to provide nearly continuous climate data for our world. The spacecraft will measure the intensity of energetic particles making their way from the Sun to the Earth, such as those released in coronal mass ejections (DSCOVR will be able to offer 15-60 minute warnings of incoming changes to the solar wind that may pose dangers to our technology). DSCOVR will use UV, visible, and infrared light reflected from the Earth to measure ozone, ash and dust, cloud composition and structure, and vegetation cover. The spacecraft will also take full images of the Earth every two hours.
Full, high-resolution pictures of the Earth at a rate of one every two hours! That's incredible. This means that it's only a matter of time until we get to see some awesome timelapse videos put together showing the dynamic Earth from nearly 1 million miles away. I can only imagine what these new data sets are going to mean for Science on a Sphere and other tools for public engagement, let alone all of the awesome science that's going to come from the DSCOVR mission.
Just got this new blue marble photo from @NASA. A beautiful reminder that we need to protect the only planet we have. pic.twitter.com/JQ3174P0LF— President Obama (@POTUS) July 20, 2015
For a bit more info about the Deep Space Climate Observatory, check out the video below: