NASA has released its first photo from the Deep Space Climate Observatory – our own planet Earth in high resolution.
We here at The Escapist are big fans of space, so it doesn’t take much prompting to post gorgeous stellar photography for everyone to see. But few images strike a universal sense of awe like Earth itself: A blue marble floating through the black that puts all of our lives in a very different perspective. So it should come as no surprise which photo NASA first released from its Deep Space Climate Observatory – a high resolution image of our world from one million miles away.
“This first DSCOVR image of our planet demonstrates the unique and important benefits of Earth observation from space,” NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden said. “As a former astronaut who’s been privileged to view the Earth from orbit, I want everyone to be able to see and appreciate our planet as an integrated, interacting system. DSCOVR’s observations of Earth, as well as its measurements and early warnings of space weather events caused by the Sun, will help every person to monitor the ever-changing Earth, and to understand how our planet fits into its neighborhood in the solar system.”
The DSCOVR launched from Earth on Feb 11 2015, but was first proposed back in 1998 by Vice President Al Gore. Its mission is to watch Earth from the L1 Lagrangian point, where it can track solar wind conditions, coronal mass ejections, and monitor changes in our ozone and climate.
And this first photo won’t be the last. Once DSCOVR begins regular data aquisition, new pictures will be available every single day, 12 to 36 hours after they were taken. That means we’ll have new high-resolution images across the planet very soon, which is good news for scientists – or anyone who likes beautiful pictures.
Of course, there’s a long tradition of taking pictures of Earth from space. In recognition of DSCOVR’s first photo, please enjoy this gallery of historic NASA images compiled by the folks at Forbes – including the one-pixel wide Earth as seen by Voyager in 1990.