NASA camera on the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite has taken a picture of the Earth from 1.6 km away in space and here is how it looks — too scary to imagine and it is the sun-side of Earth. Taken on July 6 by DSCOVR’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC), it cptures different images from near infrared to ultraviolet light.
“Just got this new blue marble photo from ?@NASA. A beautiful reminder that we need to protect the only planet we have,” US President Barack Obama tweeted on his official @POTUS twitter handle.
The images reflecting cloud and deserts looks convoluted with patterns. “This first DSCOVR image of our planet demonstrates the unique and important benefits of Earth observation from space,” said Nasa administrator Charlie Bolden in a statement.
DSCOVR is sent to monitor real-time solar winds, which are critical to the accuracy and lead time of space weather alerts and forecasts.
“DSCOVR’s observations of Earth, as well as its measurements and early warnings of space weather events caused by the sun, will help every person to monitor the ever-changing Earth, and to understand how our planet fits into its neighbourhood in the solar system,” Bolden noted.
NASA is planning to use the images to measure ozone levels in Earth’s atmosphere and plant growth on the ground. It will also help build maps showing the distribution of dust and volcanic ash around the globe.
With a four megapixel CCD camera and telescope, the image was generated by combining three separate images to create a photographic-quality image.
The camera takes a series of 10 images using different narrowband filters — from ultraviolet to near infrared — to produce a variety of science products. The red, green and blue channel images are used in these color images.
The image was taken July 6, 2015, showing North and Central America. The central turquoise areas are shallow seas around the Caribbean islands. This Earth image shows the effects of sunlight scattered by air molecules, giving the image a characteristic bluish tint.
The EPIC team is trying to remove this atmospheric effect from subsequent images. Once the instrument begins regular data acquisition, EPIC will provide a daily series of Earth images allowing for the first time study of daily variations over the entire globe, said NASA.
These images, available 12 to 36 hours after they are acquired, will be posted to a dedicated web page by September 2015. DSCOVR is a partnership between NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Air Force.