APOD: Blue Marble Earth from Suomi NPP (2012 Jan 30)

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APOD: Blue Marble Earth from Suomi NPP (2012 Jan 30)

Post by APOD Robot » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:05 am

Image Blue Marble Earth from Suomi NPP

Explanation: Behold one of the more detailed images of the Earth yet created. This Blue Marble Earth montage shown above -- created from photographs taken by the Visible/Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument on board the new Suomi NPP satellite -- shows many stunning details of our home planet. The Suomi NPP satellite was launched last October and renamed last week after Verner Suomi, commonly deemed the father of satellite meteorology. The composite was created from the data collected during four orbits of the robotic satellite taken earlier this month and digitally projected onto the globe. Many features of North America and the Western Hemisphere are particularly visible on a high resolution version of the image. Previously, several other Blue Marble Earth images have been created, some at even higher resolution.

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Re: APOD: Blue Marble Earth from Suomi NPP (2012 Jan 30)

Post by cketter » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:35 am

I've only been away from Colorado for 6 months, and now this picture is telling me that there are no green trees left in the Rocky Mountains. Did I miss something?

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Re: APOD: Blue Marble Earth from Suomi NPP (2012 Jan 30)

Post by geckzilla » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:42 am

Well, it is a winter portrait. They mostly covered in snow, I imagine. If you look near the center of the US there has been a snow storm which dropped snow off the east side of the Rockies.
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Re: APOD: Blue Marble Earth from Suomi NPP (2012 Jan 30)

Post by Chris Peterson » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:51 am

cketter wrote:I've only been away from Colorado for 6 months, and now this picture is telling me that there are no green trees left in the Rocky Mountains. Did I miss something?
The mountain range peaks are covered with snow, but you can see lots of the dark green of evergreen forests on the lower slopes of the mountains (especially the Sangre de Cristos). The rest of the state- plains in the east, parks and valleys in the center, plateaus in the west- is largely grassland, and is brown in the winter.
Chris

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Re: APOD: Blue Marble Earth from Suomi NPP (2012 Jan 30)

Post by bystander » Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:30 am

Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
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Re: APOD: Blue Marble Earth from Suomi NPP (2012 Jan 30)

Post by Ann » Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:47 am

I have access to two computers at work - one is mine, more or less, and the other one is one I share with several others. I've tried to look at the largest version of today's APOD on both these computers, but in both cases the computer screen suffered a "whiteout". I could still read the address at the top of the screen, and the computer told me it was done opening the page, and I could even look at the picture at full resolution or at screen-size resolution - but both versions were just white.

Any ideas what the problem could be?

Ann
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Re: APOD: Blue Marble Earth from Suomi NPP (2012 Jan 30)

Post by starstruck » Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:25 am

I wish I had a computer monitor that was 8000 pixels wide and 8000 pixels high!

What a beautiful planet!


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Re: APOD: Blue Marble Earth from Suomi NPP (2012 Jan 30)

Post by Flase » Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:12 am

This one's centred on Mexico. Mexicans are cool. They get called lazy like me because they don't have any money.
Mexican food is nice, always very important, and I dream of playing a guitarrón mexicano.
Image
On an astronomical note, the Yucatán Peninsula to the right is thought to be the position of the famous meteorite impact that killed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.
Image

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Re: APOD: Blue Marble Earth from Suomi NPP (2012 Jan 30)

Post by owlice » Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:07 am

a random bystander wrote:Why do all Earth pictures that APOD posts must invariably be centered on the US? Is that a government requirement or something?
Which picture would you have preferred for today's APOD?
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Re: APOD: Blue Marble Earth from Suomi NPP (2012 Jan 30)

Post by John M. Giannone » Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:04 pm

Why is the Norther Hemisphere is (so much) light, while the South Pole seems turned away from the light, and why is Cuba, accurately shown to me a distance from Florida, butting up against South America? Why aren't cities visible in at least some degree when the image is enlarged??????????? So . . . the question comes up 'What are we viewing?

Thanks

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Re: APOD: Blue Marble Earth from Suomi NPP (2012 Jan 30)

Post by rstevenson » Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:45 pm

John M. Giannone wrote:Why is the Norther Hemisphere is (so much) light, while the South Pole seems turned away from the light, and why is Cuba, accurately shown to me a distance from Florida, butting up against South America?
The South Pole is not visible in this image at all. Cuba is right where it should be, as is South America (but only the northern-most edge of it) and there is quite a distance between them, as expected. You are perhaps confusing the Yucatán Peninsula with the beginning of South America.

Rob

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Re: APOD: Blue Marble Earth from Suomi NPP (2012 Jan 30)

Post by TNT » Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:59 pm

John M. Giannone wrote:Why is the Norther Hemisphere is (so much) light, while the South Pole seems turned away from the light, and why is Cuba, accurately shown to me a distance from Florida, butting up against South America? Why aren't cities visible in at least some degree when the image is enlarged??????????? So . . . the question comes up 'What are we viewing?

Thanks
The image is centered on the northern hemisphere, slightly north of the equator. It's the southern hemisphere that is currently receiving more light due to the autumnal equinox. The lack of light at the south pole is likely due to distortion. Cuba seems perfectly fine to me, though. The cities are too small to be seen in the image, even at high resolution. The answer comes up, "We are viewing planet Earth."
The following statement is true.
The above statement is false.

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Re: APOD: Blue Marble Earth from Suomi NPP (2012 Jan 30)

Post by GLRJ » Mon Jan 30, 2012 1:15 pm

This view of Mexico and the US seems quite distorted; it's much more like Goran Strand's image (APOD 28-Jan-2012 http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap120128.html) than a true perspective blue marble image (APOD 26-Apr-2003 http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap030426.html).

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Re: APOD: Blue Marble Earth from Suomi NPP (2012 Jan 30)

Post by orin stepanek » Mon Jan 30, 2012 1:17 pm

Planet Earth! Ahh! Home Sweet Home! :wink:
Orin

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Re: APOD: Blue Marble Earth from Suomi NPP (2012 Jan 30)

Post by tcumming » Mon Jan 30, 2012 1:53 pm

I was wondering if there might be another "blue marble" pic taken in mid summer to compare/contrast how much the ground color differs summer and winter.
In this I can see some green in lower Mississippi region and eastward across the southern US. I can also see some in Mexico and southward.
One time long ago I was told few man made things are visible from space, the Great Wall in China being one. Still I was half expecting some hints of where major cities are. Maybe we aren't scarring the planet up quite as bad as it might seem when we are down in a metropolitan area that takes two hours to drive across.

Carol C/Texas

Re: APOD: Blue Marble Earth from Suomi NPP (2012 Jan 30)

Post by Carol C/Texas » Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:32 pm

Beautiful! I would have appreciated short indicator liness to show the north and south poles. I usually don't think of South America being so far to the east and am assuming this image is a bit tilted to the left on top?

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Re: APOD: Blue Marble Earth from Suomi NPP (2012 Jan 30)

Post by orin stepanek » Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:37 pm

Carol C/Texas wrote:Beautiful! I would have appreciated short indicator liness to show the north and south poles. I usually don't think of South America being so far to the east and am assuming this image is a bit tilted to the left on top?
You cannot see the South Pole in this photo! :ssmile:
Orin

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Re: APOD: Blue Marble Earth from Suomi NPP (2012 Jan 30)

Post by lunartrax » Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:43 pm

This undeniably beautiful pic still seems to have been made with some distortion in size and shape. Does Suomi use a sort of 'fish-eye' lens to compensate for not being distant enough to get a 'whole globe' shot ? ( I suppose I should find out what the orbital distance of this probe actually is. ) The GOES satellites are far enough away to get whole earth pics, and the Apollo astronauts referred to the earth's size as dwindling to "a golf ball held at arm's length". I imagine that a visit to the NASA Suomi webpage may provide some info for those of us who are curious.
PS- a note to invite any Apollo fans to view my YouTube LunarTribute music-video series, "Welcome to the Moon" by Lunartrax.

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Re: APOD: Blue Marble Earth from Suomi NPP (2012 Jan 30)

Post by geckzilla » Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:54 pm

Did you even look at the links? The first two have the US and then the last 5 are the same photo of Africa.
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Re: APOD: Blue Marble Earth from Suomi NPP (2012 Jan 30)

Post by Chris Peterson » Mon Jan 30, 2012 3:03 pm

lunartrax wrote:This undeniably beautiful pic still seems to have been made with some distortion in size and shape.
This "blue marble Earth" is not an image at all... it is a geographical data set. Anybody can take the data and push it through a "blue marble viewer" to create their own image- with the virtual camera at any location, looking in any direction, at any height. Here, the person producing the image has chosen to look down on Mexico from a fairly low height. They could as easily looked down on the south pole from the distance of the Moon, or on Paris from 20 km high.
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Re: APOD: Blue Marble Earth from Suomi NPP (2012 Jan 30)

Post by lunartrax » Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:04 pm

Thanx Chris @ Cloudbait Observatory for the interesting info. And as is usually the case with APOD, just taking the time to click on the many links in the Explanation paragraph, leads me to tons of details. I've found that Suomi orbits at an altitude of approximately 512 miles. The virtual 'blue marble viewer' sounds fantastic ... Just curious if there's a link that takes you to the viewer, and if it requires a software download. More research is clearly called for, when time allows : )

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Re: APOD: Blue Marble Earth from Suomi NPP (2012 Jan 30)

Post by neufer » Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:20 pm

lunartrax wrote:
This undeniably beautiful pic still seems to have been made with some distortion in size and shape.
The distortion comes from the fact that the perspective is presented as if from an NPP satellite a mere 824 kilometers above Earth.

At that altitude the edges of the Earth are about 62º off from Nadir (looking straight down).

Hence the NPP Blue Marble Earth should properly be viewed with a single eye about 2.4 inches above most computer screens.
Art Neuendorffer

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Re: APOD: Blue Marble Earth from Suomi NPP (2012 Jan 30)

Post by moonstruck » Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:35 pm

Go to "Google Earth" and you can turn it any way you want to. :?

Byork

Re: APOD: Blue Marble Earth from Suomi NPP (2012 Jan 30)

Post by Byork » Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:41 pm

Blue Marble Earth from Suomi NPP image shows incredible detail which has implications for land management and conservation. Manner in which river run-off colors ocean with dark yellow silt is particularly revealing; there is a lot of erosion going on somewhere.

Compare Suomi NPP image with Blue Marble GLOBE WEST portrait of the Earth.