Skip Nav
Tech Tips
How to Make Your Own "Memoji": The Coolest New Feature of iOS 12
Sleep
This Sleep Mask Is Also a Pair of Headphones
Digital Life
Thanks to iOS 12, iPhone Users Can Check Their Screen Time, and I'm Panicking a Little
Geek Culture
5 Reasons Your '90s Nokia Was the Best Cell Phone Ever
Which Hogwarts Houses Are Harry Potter Characters In?
Harry Potter
Which Hogwarts House Is This Harry Potter Character In?

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!

From Our Partners
How to See the Strawberry Moon June 2018
NASA Comments on Chrissy Teigen's Photo of Baby Miles
Aurora Station Luxury Space Hotel Details
NASA Study Finds Astronaut Twin DNA Doesn't Match March 2018
Baby Names Inspired by Space and Constellations
When Is the January 2018 Lunar Eclipse?
Pictures of the California Wildfires From Space Dec. 2017
Lego Women of NASA Set STEM and Science November 2017
Cassini Goodbye Photos and Reactions
Twitter Reactions to Solar Eclipse
Solar Eclipse Facts From NASA Scientists
How to Watch the Solar Eclipse Online
From Our Partners
Latest Technology & Gadgets
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds