OMG! Earth photography pr0n

By Aimee Whitcroft 26/01/2012

Thank you, NASA, for once again providing really beautiful imagery.

Fresh off the boat off the orbiting device*, a gorgeous ‘blue marble’ photograph of the little planet upon the surface of which we sail through our ever-expanding universe**.

'Blue Marble'. Credit: NASA/NOAA/GSFC/Suomi NPP/VIIRS/Norman Kuring

'Blue Marble'. Credit: NASA/NOAA/GSFC/Suomi NPP/VIIRS/Norman Kuring

As NASA says:

This composite image uses a number of swaths of the Earth’s surface taken on January 4, 2012. The NPP satellite was renamed ‘Suomi NPP’ on January 24, 2012 to honor the late Verner E. Suomi of the University of Wisconsin.

The best bit? You can look at it in a bunch of different resolutions. My favourite being, of course, 8000 x 8000.


And yes, to those of you who point out that this is a puny 64 megapixel image – we do, indeed, have gigapixel images.  Being used, if nothing else, for crowd surveillance (oh, goody) as well as nature/landscape/cityscape photography.  But that doesn’t detract at all, in my opinion, from the beauty of _this_ image.

And, for those interested, here’s a 26 gigapixel image.  Enjoy 🙂


Related note: hooray to NASA for releasing work like this under a Creative Commons license! Well done, guys – you’re on the Light side of the Force 🙂


* The VIIRS instrument aboard Suomi NPP, which is NASA’s most recently launched Earth-observing satellite. The satellite’s purpose is to collect data for improving our understanding of both short-term weather and long-term climactic change, amongst other things, and the VIIRS (Visible/Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite) is the ‘biggest and most important’ of the five instruments aboard.

** Yup, it’s not, as some of you have already surmised, this.

0 Responses to “OMG! Earth photography pr0n”

    • Not sure – I think Suomi’s generally over the poles-ish. And I _think_ that’s the only image like it that NASA’s released. Have you checked their website?

  • Ralph LaBarge produced a DVD series on Planet Earth from the Atlantis Shuttle some 10 years back. The second one released showed footage of the South pacific region. Stunning imagery. Ralph also produced a DVD called StarGaze with footage from the Hubble Telescope. I was distributing them in NZ when they were first release.