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Blue Marble Redux

Via Wired Science, here’s what could be the single most powerful image of the year, though we’re not even through January yet.

Thumbnail for a super-high-resolution satellite image of Earth

The full image is 8000×8000 pixels. It is extremely high resolution — if you zoom in, you can see signs of civilization in some spots on the North American continent. This was taken by the Suomi NPP satellite from a lot of tiny shots of the globe over the course of January 4th, and stitched together afterward. While I would love to have seen a single image of the entire planet taken at one instant, to get a sense for how the weather patterns were at that exact moment, this will have to do for now, considering how far away you’d have to get and how much equipment you’d have to put into space to get as high a resolution image as this pastiche.

But what an amazing image it is. Look at how thin and fragile the atmosphere is on this planet of ours. This is the only planet we’ve got. Maybe we should stop destroying it.

Comments

  1. Marshall says

    I grew up in Summit County, Colorado, where Breckenridge and Copper Mountain are (two well known ski resorts). I miss it terribly, and the last few years I was there it seemed like we got less and less snow every year. From what I’ve been told by friends still living there, this trend hasn’t changed. The forests are receding, and one has said that it’s almost like a perpetual fall/summer now instead of the viciously cold but beautiful winters of my childhood.

    I don’t have any way of directly tying any of this to climate change, really, I don’t want to jump to conclusions, but it does pain me to think that we might have put ourselves on a course to destroy the beauty of the place I grew up. Our continuing insistence on not doing significant to mitigate this problem is one of the most depressing things in the world for me…

  2. Shawn Smith says

    The thing that jumps out most to me is that the full zoomed-out image makes the USA and Mexico (sorry Canada and Alaska) look like they take up 1/6 of the planet. It must be some artifact of the way it was constructed.

    But otherwise, yeah, a cool picture.

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