Feeds

Second 'Blue Marble' NASA sat pic apes Apollo 17's stunner

Earth-snapping Suomi gets its kit out for the labs

The next step in data security

After popular demand NASA's Suomi NPP satellite has beamed down another "Blue Marble" vision of the Earth in high definition.

'Blue marble' image of Africa and the Middle East

Latest 'Blue Marble' image of Africa and the Middle East. Credit: NASA/NOAA

The agency said that it decided to put out a second image of our planet from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) aboard Suomi because the first - issued last month - was "wildly popular".

And for those bemoaning the fact that the first pic showed the Americas (not that peculiar when you consider it's a NASA satellite and therefore, American), this one reveals Africa and the Middle East, with a wee bit of Asia, in all their glory.

The image is again a composite, this time of six separate orbits on January 23. The picture was then compiled by NASA Goddard scientist Norman Kuring with a perspective of 7,918 miles above the Earth, although the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite is actually at an altitude of 512 miles.

The four hazy vertical lines across the planet are the reflection of the sun off the oceans.

This second "Blue Marble" photo, taken by VIIRS, recreates the first ever "Blue Marble" shot, which was taken by the Apollo 17 astronauts as they flew through space on their journey to the Moon. That picture was taken at a distance of around 28,000 miles.

Original 'Blue Marble' pic taken by Apollo 17 astronauts in 1972

Look how we've changed: original 'Blue Marble' pic taken by Apollo 17 astronauts in 1972. Credit: NASA

NASA said that, according to Flickr, the first Suomi NPP Blue Marble image has had more than 3.1 million views as of February 1, "making it one of the all-time most viewed images on the site after only one week". ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Bacon-related medical breakthrough wins Ig Nobel prize
Is there ANYTHING cured pork can't do?
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.