Time Lapse of Earth, What's that Spotlight?

By | May 18, 2012

A timelapse of Planet Earth from Electro-L, a geostationary satellite orbiting 40000km above the Earth. The satellite creates a 121 megapixel image every 30 minutes with four visible and infrared light wavelengths. The infrared light appears green in these images, and shows vegetation. The images are the largest whole disk images of our planet, the resolution is 1 kilometer per pixel. The images are “masked” by a circular barrier that blocks out the light of the Sun and other stars. This is to prevent damage to the camera by exposure to direct sunlight. City lights are not visible because they are thousands of times less bright than the reflection of sunlight off the Earth. The images have been interpolated (blended) to create a smooth animation.

In other words, this is not what you would see from space. The green would not be so green, etc.  I believe this is a more accurate view:

The Blue Marble” is a famous photograph of the Earth taken on December 7, 1972 by the crew of the Apollo 17 spacecraft en route to the Moon at a distance of about 29,000 kilometers (18,000 statute miles). It shows Africa, Antarctica, and the Arabian Peninsula.

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