Earth – The Blue Marble

New Earth - The Blue Marble 2012
New Earth – The Blue Marble 2012

By Neeraj Bhushan

Do you know our Earth didn’t appear blue in NASA’s first satellite images! But times have changed. Look at this “Blue Marble 2012” – as NASA (US government’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration) calls it and claims it to be the most amazing high definition image of Earth so far.

Earth as a ‘Blue Marble’ was first snapped by the crew of Apollo 17 in 1972 and that image has always been one of the most famous photos ever taken, for we all then suddenly saw the world in a much different way.

In the years since, the space agency has added many blue marble laurels to its credit, of course with technology enhancing and sharpening the so difficult to take images. And as the latest photo is released, NASA says it’s the most amazing high definition image of Earth.

This latest image, being put here courtesy NASA, was taken from the VIIRS instrument aboard the space agency’s most recently launched Earth-observing satellite — Suomi NPP. The composite image offering a detailed view of North and Central America, is one in a long line of ‘Blue Marble’ shots since the original was taken by the Apollo 17 crew in 1972.

Also, it has been assembled from image data captured from a number of swaths of Earth’s surface 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, who is considered the father of satellite meteorology.

The satellite, launched on October 28, 2011, is collecting data for forecasting weather and helping scientists better understand climate change. Interestingly, everyone knows that NASA studies space; but fewer people know that NASA also studies Earth.

Actually, since the agency’s creation almost 50 years ago, this agency has been a world leader in space-based studies of our home planet. It operates 18 of the most advanced Earth-observing satellites ever built, helping scientists make some of the most detailed observations ever made of our world.

Below you can also see the “Blue Marble 2000” which combined data from multiple satellites and applied colour schemes to give an approximation of what was really occurring.

Blue Marble 2000
Blue Marble 2000

And you may also find below, the iconic image that NASA identified as ‘Blue Marble 1972’ that shows Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and the Malagasy Republic, as snapped by the Apollo 17 crew while they were on their way to the moon.

Old Earth - The Original Taken In 1972
Old Earth – The Original Taken In 1972
  • Reblogged this on tekArtist.

    • G

      Thanks for sharing Stephane

  • . . . and to think how tiny each of *us* is on the big blue marble is really quite astonishing!

    • G

      we are so small, yet we feel we are so big.

  • I can almost see my house in the one picture:)

    • G

      O really !!!! hahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

  • Great blog. You have a lot of interesting posts so I am awarding you the Versatile Blogger Award. Details here: http://writewhatuknow.wordpress.com/2012/01/27/versatile-blogger-award/

    Congrats and keep up the great blogging!

    • G

      Thank you. I am happy and blessed to be counted. This recognition also comes with a rider that I must work even harder.

  • Your blog is so full of variety. Thank you for your interesting posts!

  • That 2012 picture is fantastic. Great post.

  • Great post!. There’s also a 2002 version of the Blue Marble here: http://visibleearth.nasa.gov/view.php?id=57723. I like this one because it’s got two versions – one for the East and one for the West.

  • I really enjoyed reading the article.

  • We are but an electron in the universe.

  • We are truly beautiful!

  • Thank you for deciding to follow me. I shall follow this blog and comment whenever I have something useful to say. Thank you for this enlightenment on the colour of our earth,

  • stunning pictures..thanks….
    and glad you Liked my Blog!

  • Thanks for the overwhelming response. It’s pleasure sharing here. Cheers!

    • G

      Oh U are always welcome…

    • G

      It’s always a pleasure to read what you write Neeraj.. MAny a thanks.