In hi-res on your computer, this looks like a polished opal. Cut from NASA file

Out in space there are no borders, and no signs or sounds of human conflicts, or the clash of ideas. There is just the blue marble that is planet earth, our vast yet finite home.

NASA has released its latest ‘blue marble’ images from the new Suomi polar orbiting satellite, which is building on earlier spacecraft that have been measuring how the earth re-radiates energy, how cloud cover works to both deflect in bound solar radiation and retard outbound re-radiation, and provide other data useful for studying short to longer term changes in the planetary environment.

A sliver of the far south, cut from a NASA blue marble Suomi image

These are not the most detailed blue marble images ever assembled by NASA, but the files can exceed 17MB in size, and the slivers of these images, made in January, have enough definition to reveal cities, and a great deal of topographical detail, even through what look likes small breaks in the cloud banks.  You can bring them up, and block out all of the other clutter on your desk top, just for a moment, before getting back to work.

This is a feeble resolution copy of a full earth blue marble image compiled from Suomi’s near earth orbital passes on 23 January.  The full file would crash our server.

Make some surprising discoveries taking slivers out of this

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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