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.