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(27,509 posts)
Wed Oct 21, 2015, 01:52 PM Oct 2015

Your daily 'blue marble': New Nasa site features images of the Earth from Al Gore's satellite

I posted some news stories about this yesterday in LBN: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10141237977

Some background information not mentioned in those articles:

The "Earthrise" and "Blue Marble" photos of the Earth by the Apollo crew had a major influence globally on people's awareness of environmental and social issues:


In Life 's 100 Photographs that Changed the World, wilderness photographer Galen Rowell called Earthrise "the most influential environmental photograph ever taken."[9] Another author called its appearance the beginning of the environmental movement.[10]


Counterculture activists had been among the first to cherish these images as icons of a new global consciousness.[9] The Apollo 17 image, however, released during a surge in environmental activism during the 1970s, became a symbol of the environmental movement, as a depiction of Earth's frailty, vulnerability, and isolation amid the vast expanse of space.[1] NASA archivist Mike Gentry has speculated that The Blue Marble is among the most widely distributed images in human history.[2]

Vice President Al Gore proposed this satellite to keep that perspective alive:

It was originally developed as a NASA satellite proposed in 1998 by then-Vice President Al Gore for the purpose of Earth observation.


The Bush Administration put the project on hold shortly after George W. Bush's inauguration.[11]


It will take full-Earth pictures about every two hours and be able to process them faster than other Earth observation satellites.[7]


Originally known as Triana, named after Rodrigo de Triana, the first of Columbus's crew to sight land in the Americas, the satellite's original purpose was to provide a near-continuous view of the entire Earth and make that live image available via the Internet. Gore hoped not only to advance science with these images, but also to raise awareness of the Earth itself, updating the influential Blue Marble photograph taken by Apollo 17.[9] In addition to an imaging camera, a radiometer would take the first direct measurements of how much sunlight is reflected and emitted from the whole Earth (albedo). This data could constitute a barometer for the process of global warming. The scientific goals expanded to measure the amount of solar energy reaching Earth, cloud patterns, weather systems, monitor the health of Earth's vegetation, and track the amount of UV light reaching the surface through the ozone layer.


And now that satellite is in place and operating:

Your daily 'blue marble': New Nasa site features high-resolution images of the Earth each day taken from one million miles away

- Site features images taken from the Deep Space Climate Observatory around 12 to 36 hours earlier

- Image sequence will show the Earth as it rotates, revealing the whole globe over the course of a day

- New site also features an archive of the probe's images, which are searchable by date and continent

By Ellie Zolfagharifard For Dailymail.com

Published: 18:42 EST, 19 October 2015 | Updated: 18:49 EST, 19 October 2015


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