Skip Nav
Tech News
Apple Accidentally Confirmed 1 Major Rumor About the New MacBook Pro
Geek Culture
Break the Internet With These 50+ Clever Costumes
Digital Life
Here Are the Emoji Pumpkin Templates of Your Dreams

NASA Hi-Res Picture of Earth

Geek Shot: NASA's Hi-Res View of Earth

Countless satellites hover over earth transmitting phone calls, powering GPS systems, and in the case of a new NASA satellite, measuring the planet's wide-ranging climate. The NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP) satellite, which launched in Oct. 2011, is on a sun-synchronous orbit, meaning it passes over the equator at the same local ground time in every orbit. As NASA explains, "When NPP flies over Kenya, it is about 1:30 p.m. on the ground. When NPP reaches Gabon — about 3,000 kilometers to the west — on the next orbit, it is close to 1:30 p.m. on the ground."

All the photos NPP takes of earth have similar lighting, creating a panorama like the one below. Each wedge in the photo actually measures 1,900 miles of earth, within roughly the same local time for every piece of the orbit. Notice the Arctic in the north is missing from this picture, as it receives too little light in the Winter for NPP to photograph.

Imagine if this technology was used on earth's own celestial satellite — we could finally see the mysteries lurking on the dark side of the moon!

Around The Web
Join The Conversation
How to Watch Orionid Meteor Shower
Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2016 Winners
How to Watch the Draconid Meteor Shower
NASA Study Shows Mercury Is Shrinking
Picture of a Dying Star
Galaxy Doughnuts
NASA Messenger Photo of Mercury

POPSUGAR, the #1 independent media and technology company for women. Where more than 75 million women go for original, inspirational content that feeds their passions and interests.

From Our Partners
Latest Technology & Gadgets
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds