Blue Marble — Side B

Credit: NASA/NOAA/GSFC/Suomi NPP/VIIRS/Norman Kuring

Images like this high-resolution beauty from NASA’s Suomi NPP satel­lite will help us mon­i­tor our chang­ing Earth.

Africa fig­ures promi­nently in this image. You can zip from the cen­tral Sahara, across the Red Sea and to the foothills of the Himalayas in the image, explor­ing storm sys­tems along the way. This ‘Blue Mar­ble’ image of Earth is a com­pos­ite of many swaths taken by the Vis­i­ble Infrared Imager Radiome­ter Suite instru­ment (VIIRS) instru­ment aboard Suomi NPP. The satel­lite was renamed Suomi NPP Jan­u­ary 24, 2012 in honor of the late Verner E. Suomi of the Uni­vesity of Wis­con­sin. The swaths are vis­i­ble as the reg­u­larly spaced ver­ti­cal areas of gray across the image. These are the brighter east­ward edges of the images. The light­en­ing is caused by sunglint from the ocean. The same sun reflec­tion is seen by astro­nauts from aboard the ISS. Edge bright­en­ing, com­mon in satel­lite images of Earth, has been removed.

Down­load this image at NASA Goddard’s Flickr site. The orig­i­nal is a hefty 11000x11000 pix­els. Thank­fully, there are smaller sizes avail­able. Our beau­ti­ful planet is worth the look.

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