Friday, March 29, 2013
Earth From Space: NASA's Blue Marble East
Posted by Jay at 9:58 AM
NASA has had a long history of great images, and this one is no different (although it's a little dated). This picture shows the Earth as seen from space, prominently displaying the blue hues of the oceans and brown tints of land. This is NASA's Blue Marble East.
The name "Blue Marble" refers to one of NASA's most popular photographs showing the Earth in its entirety. The early photo was taken by the crew of Apollo 17 and shows a perfectly illuminated blue planet, with swirling white clouds, deep blue oceans and a clearly defined African continent. The name "Blue Marble" was coined by the astronauts because of its appearance. Since then, the name has been applied to different NASA images of Earth.
In early 2012, NASA released another image, this time a composite picture of Earth called "Blue Marble 2012". The high resolution picture quickly became one of the most downloaded images in NASA's history. Just like the original Blue Marble, the 2012 version featured a beautifully illuminated sphere, this time with North America prominently in the center.
This particular image was taken in 2007, and offers a different view of the Earth. Here, the South, Southeast, and Eastern parts of Asia are highlighted, along with the whole of Australia. Blue Marble 2007 East also shows some night time images, as this is actually a composite of different photographs taken by different NASA satellites. The above picture offers an interesting view of the Earth, from the green-tinted chlorophyll laden coastlines of Australasia to the evening metropolitan lights of Japan, all set against the darkness of space.
There's more history on NASA's Blue Marble East image on their Flickr page. Wikipedia's Blue Marble entry also has other information on other photographs with the same name. To see more images of Earth from space, click here for more Outer Space photography.