By ADAM MANN - WIRED SCIENCE
Added: Thu, 26 Jan 2012 17:24:10 UTC
NASA released this incredible new high-res image of the Earth, taken by the recently launched Earth-observing satellite, Suomi NPP.
The image, which centers on North and Central America, has been nicknamed “Blue Marble 2012″ after the famous “Blue Marble” image (below) taken during the Apollo 17 mission in 1972. The original Blue Marble, featuring the Arabian Peninsula and Africa, is one of the most well recognized photographs of all time.
Suomi NPP is designed to help improve weather forecasts and increase scientists’ understanding of long-term climate change. Originally called the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System Preparatory Project, the probe was renamed Jan. 24 in honor of the late Verner E. Suomi, known as the “father of satellite meteorology.”
The Suomi satellite compiled this enormous image from small sections that it photographed over the course of Jan. 4, and the pictures were later stitched together.
You can download the full image in extremely high resolution (8,000 x 8,000 pixels!)