New Earth-observing satellite snaps 'blue marble' shot
Three-month-old Suomi NPP captures hi-res Earth pic
The newly renamed Suomi NPP satellite has snapped a hi-res composite of the Earth from a number of swaths over the surface taken on 4 January.
Image of Earth from the Suomi NPP. Credit: NASA/NOAA/GSFC/Suomi NPP/VIIRS/Norman Kuring
The National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System Preparatory Project, or NPP, was launched at the end of October last year. It was recently renamed the Suomi NPP in honour of the late Verner E Suomi, known as the father of satellite meteorology.
The mission is a bridge between NASA's Earth Observing System satellites to the next-generation Joint Polar Satellite System, or JPSS, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) programme.
Suomi, who was a meteorologist at the Univerity of Wisconsin, pioneered remote sensing of Earth from satellites in polar orbits a few hundred miles above the surface with Explorer 7 in 1959, and geostationary orbits of thousands of miles with ATS-1 in 1966.
He was also the inventor of the "spin-scan" camera, which allowed geostationary weather satellites to continuously capture snapshots, giving us the pictures commonly used on TV weather forecasts.
"It is fitting that such an important and innovative partnership pays tribute to a pioneer like Verner Suomi," said Mary Kicza, assistant administrator for NOAA's Satellite and Information Service.
"Suomi NPP is an extremely important mission for NOAA. Its advanced instruments will improve our weather forecasts and understanding of the climate and pave the way for JPSS, our next generation of weather satellites."
You can view the full resolution of the image here. ®
Nice picture, but ...
... to echo the comment by "Compound Eye" on Flickr:
It'd be nice if you had an image with the US, Europe, Asia going left to right - that way, even allowing for curvature, far more people would be able to gain a sense of enjoyment / pride from what they saw... There are other countries in the World besides the USA, not that the 96% of Americans without passports would care.
Yeah, I was about to post, "Verner E. Finland?"
)Preface: I'm American) Back in 1997, when I was a wee lad, I worked at Kinko's a copy shop. Some guy came in and needed to print some copies of his CV, which I duly did. His last name was 'Mielty', which struck me as rather Finnish sounding - I hung out with a lot of Finnish / other-Scandinavian guys on IRC at the time.
So, as I was checking him out, I randomly said, "Suomi on paskaa!", one of the phrases the Finns had been teaching me. I knew what it meant, but figured there was no way some random dude in upstate New York would as well.
It means (minor grammar errors ignored): "Finland is shit!"
The guy looked shocked - and I suddenly started considering printing copies of my own resume - and then, a huge smile spreading across his face, he exclaimed, "YOU KNOW FINNISH!!!!!??"
Turns out he was so happy that anyone here even knew of Finland at all that he didn't care what I actually said. Unfortunately, that, some other extremely obscene invective, and "My hovercraft is full of eels" were the only things I knew. But I ended up chatting for a while about Finland with a very happy customer.
Vittu soppa, perrrrkele pillun!
...and that without Google translate. I'm rusty. I'm sure it's absurd.
Well, let's see
Well, let's see. This was taken by NASA - the (United States of America) National Atmospheric and Space Administration.
I'm sure that has the European Space Administration taken a picture of Europe, and had an American raised a fuss, he'd have been voted down.
But since this is the American Space Administration taking a picture of North America, and a (presumably) European is complaining, that's worth upvoting.