NASA Satellite Sends Back Views Of Earth From One Million Miles Away

Posted: Nov 10 2018, 5:31am CST | by , Updated: Nov 10 2018, 5:33am CST, in Latest Science News


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NASA Satellite Sends Back Views of Earth from One Million Miles Away
Credit: NASA

The unprecedented observations by DSCOVR satellite are providing more insights into Earth's weather and climate.

A NASA camera aboard the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite has captured new stunning views of the entire Earth from a distance of about one million miles.

The Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC), a four-megapixel CCD camera and telescope, takes images in many wavelength ranges from ultraviolet to near infrared. By combining these different wavelength images, researchers can get reliable measurements of features like ozone and aerosol levels in the atmosphere, cloud height, volcanic ash, smoke from wildfires and vegetation cover.

EPIC maintains a constant view of sunlit side of Earth as it rotates. The camera has been capturing between 13 and 22 images of the entire Earth since June of 2015, thus revealing changes in our planet over the course of a day.

“Given EPIC's special vantage point and frequent observations, we are able to observe the daytime portion of the daily cycle of many phenomena," said NASA's Alexander Marshak, deputy project scientist for the DSCOVR mission at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. “For example, EPIC can follow a volcanic eruption or a fire plume during the entire day. These measurements complement those taken by other low Earth-orbiting satellites, which view a particular location less often, in many cases only once or twice per day."

Launched in February 2015, DSCOVR satellite is orbiting Earth at the first Lagrange point or L1, about one million miles from Earth toward the sun. Other similar satellites orbit around the Earth within 22,300 miles. From its position four times further than the orbit of the Moon, the satellite provides real-time data on solar activity that will help researchers improve their forecasts of space weather events. The information about our planet will enable policy makers to make better decisions on issues that are critical for the world.

“NASA uses the vantage point of space to increase our understanding of our home planet, improve lives, and safeguard our future. NASA develops new ways to observe and study Earth's interconnected natural systems with long-term data records,” a NASA statement reads. “The agency freely shares this unique knowledge and works with institutions around the world to gain new insights into how our planet is changing.”

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/47" rel="author">Hira Bashir</a>
The latest discoveries in science are the passion of Hira Bashir (). With years of experience, she is able to spot the most interesting new achievements of scientists around the world and cover them in easy to understand reporting.




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