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The Whole World

Viirs

A never-before-seen complete global image shot from 512 miles above Earth:

The NPP satellite launched on October 28, 2011, and VIIRS acquired its first measurements on November 21. To date, the images are preliminary, used to gauge the health of the sensor as engineers continue to power it up for full operation.

Rising from the south and setting in the north on the daylight side of Earth, VIIRS images the surface in long wedges measuring 3,000 kilometers (1,900 miles) across. The swaths from each successive orbit overlap one another, so that at the end of the day, the sensor has a complete view of the globe. The Arctic is missing because it is too dark to view in visible light during the winter.

The NPP satellite was placed in a Sun-synchronous orbit, a unique path that takes the satellite over the equator at the same local (ground) time in every orbit. So, 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. This orbit allows the satellite to maintain the same angle between the Earth and the Sun so that all images have similar lighting.

The consistent lighting is evident in the daily global image.

Larger version HERE.

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Comments

  1. The Flat Earth Society is not going to be pleased with this latest "propaganda" image from... The Man. And are they claiming that it's rotating??? Sheesh, the geocentrism advocates are gonna freak!

    /sarc

    (cool image btw)

    Posted by: JohnAGJ | Dec 15, 2011 9:35:15 PM


  2. THIS IS NOT HOW THE EARTH LOOKS! EVERY SCHOOL KID IN THIS COUNTRY KNOWS THE WORLD MAP IS CENTERED ON THE U.S.!

    Posted by: AMERICA-CENTRIC | Dec 15, 2011 9:57:28 PM


  3. "A never-before-seen complete global image"

    but

    "The Arctic is missing because it is too dark"

    So, it would seem that a COMPLETE global image is still not seen.

    Better luck next year.

    Posted by: Randy | Dec 15, 2011 10:02:40 PM


  4. At first glance this just looked fuzzy, but then South America, Australia, and especially Africa and the Middle East quickly became clear. Cool. The sun-syncronous orbit is especially cool. I am far from being scientifically oriented, but I can appreciate its achievements. Shooting something 500+ miles in the air and keeping it at a stable orbit are amazing feats.

    @Randy: Wow, you really sound like you'd be fun to spend time with. Do you know what it means if something can't be seen? It means that it can't be seen.

    Posted by: Paul R | Dec 16, 2011 12:00:23 AM


  5. Hm, looks like it was cloudy that day.

    Posted by: Jeff K. | Dec 16, 2011 3:41:46 AM


  6. @Randy ROFL!

    Posted by: James | Dec 17, 2011 1:35:30 AM


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