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NASA opens hi-res Earth photo album

The 'blue marble' in all its glory

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NASA has made public some truly splendid hi-res snaps of planet Earth - lovingly cobbled together from a "a collection of satellite-based observations":

Planet Earth in all its glory

Impressive stuff. Here's the accompanying blurb:

This spectacular "blue marble" image is the most detailed true-color image of the entire Earth to date. Using a collection of satellite-based observations, scientists and visualisers stitched together months of observations of the land surface, oceans, sea ice, and clouds into a seamless, true-color mosaic of every square kilometre (.386 square mile) of our planet. These images are freely available to educators, scientists, museums, and the public. This record includes preview images and links to full resolution versions up to 21,600 pixels across.

Most of the info in the pictures comes from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, or MODIS to its mates, which is currently peering down on us from 700km up aboard the Terra satellite.

The results are indeed spectacular, as this larger view (2048 x 2048, 579.4KB jpeg) of the western hemisphere shows. The full catalogue can be found here. ®

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