NASA recreates the original Apollo 17 Blue Marble image in amazing detail

NASA Blue Marble East 2012

Credit: NASA/NOAA/GSFC/Suomi NPP/VIIRS/Norman Kuring

NASA has released another stunning high definition image of the Earth from space, after the release of a similar image last week became began trending online.

This image of the Eastern Hemisphere recreates the original Blue Marble taken by Apollo 17 in 1972 on the way to the Moon.  In this composite image Eastern Africa the Arabian Peninsula and Western India can be seen.  To the north, Greece and Southern Italy are visible (if you zoom in) and to the south, Antarctica is partially visible.

The image has been created by NASA using its Suomi NPP satellite flying a Polar orbit at a height of 824 km (512 miles).  The individual images that make up this composite were recorded using the satellite’s Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS).

NASA’s Norman Kuring stitched together images taken over six full orbits which, when combined, provide an effective height of 12,743 km (7,918 miles).

The four grey vertical lines show the reflection of sunlight on the oceans.

Apollo 17's Blue Marble from 1972

The first Blue Marble. Credit:NASA

NASA says that last week’s image, which showed the North American continent and parts of Central America, was viewed over three million times and created a “wave of interest is still spreading across the Internet and social media.”

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  1. [...] image.  Using modern, high resolution, photographic equipment on the satellite the modern image shows the same continents of Africa, Asia, and some of Europe, as well as Antarctica.  But unlike the 1972 image the 2012 Blue Marble is not a [...]

  2. [...] The images were released 40 years after NASA’s famous original Blue Marble photograph. That image is considered to be one of the most distributed on Earth and one of most famous photographs of the planet.  NASA updated the Blue Marble image in 2012 to show the planet in more detail. [...]

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