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NASA camera offers fresh perspective on Earth

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NASA camera offers fresh perspective on Earth


A NASA camera on the Deep Space Climate Observatory satellite has returned its first view of the entire sunlit side of Earth from one million miles away.

The image of Earth was taken by NASA’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC), a four megapixel CCD camera and telescope. The image was generated by combining three separate images to create a photographic-quality image.

The camera takes a series of 10 images using different narrowband filters — from ultraviolet to near infrared — to produce a variety of science products. The red, green and blue channel images are used in these color images.

This image shows North and Central America. The central turquoise areas are shallow seas around the Caribbean islands. This Earth image shows the effects of sunlight scattered by air molecules, giving the image a characteristic bluish tint.

The EPIC team is working to remove this atmospheric effect from subsequent images. Once the instrument begins regular data acquisition, EPIC will provide a daily series of Earth images allowing for the first time study of daily variations over the entire globe.

These images, available 12 to 36 hours after they are acquired, will be posted to a dedicated web page by September 2015.

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