Shimmering Jewel in Space: Mother Earth as You’ve Never Seen Her Before

The U.S. space agency NASA has captured photos of what has been dubbed the Big Blue Marble, our Mother Earth, in stunning high-definition. Now the Russians may have trumped those with a series of photographs of day and night in motion.

A Russian weather satellite, the geostationary Electro-L obtained the images in this video between May 14 and 21, taken every half hour, in four light wavelengths that bring out the stunning colors of our home. It is much more than blue. Three visible and one infrared wavelength show detailed reflections of forest and vegetation (orange, from the infrared) as well as the planet’s hallmark blue, from the water, and vibrant green.

The video, put together by James Drake, is one of many he has compiled on his website PlanetEarth. According to the news site The Verge, Drake obtained more than 350 photos from the Russian Research Center for Earth Operative Monitoring to compile this and other videos depicting Mother Earth day by day, from the satellite's vantage point over the Indian Ocean. A lack of sound lends the video a magnificent ethereal quality, as the viewer watches light and dark pass across this jewel shimmering against the velvety, opaque backdrop of space.


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Shimmering Jewel in Space: Mother Earth as You've Never Seen Her Before