The play on words comes spontaneously: the EPIC camera (Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera) of the Deep Space Climate Observatory of NASA and NOAA has just given us an epic image of the Earth: the photo of a face of our Planet completely illuminated by the Sun, and photographed from about 1.5 million km away (ie from the L1 orbit, a point where the gravitational attraction of the Earth and the Sun are balanced).
Composition. The polychromatic image - which dates back to 6 July 2015 - was obtained by combining three different photos to obtain a quality shot. The 4-megapixel EPIC camera generally gets photographic series of 10 shots, each made in a different wavelength, from ultraviolet to near-infrared. The image you see includes the bands of red, green and blue.
Clouds, earth and sea. The photo depicts North and Central America along with the Caribbean seas (whose shallow waters are visible in turquoise in the center). Our planet appears blue - as in the famous Blue Marble, the photo of the Earth taken on December 7th 1972 by the Apollo 17 crew - due to the spread of sunlight by atmospheric molecules.On the left, the original "Blue Marble". On the right, the new version. | h / t: nyt.com
Electric blue. The photo was greeted with enthusiasm by the experts on Spazio on the web: the colors, says Emily Lakdawalla, of the Planetary Society, appear to be more real than in the Blue Marble photo, while the reefs are almost electric blue.
I love this new DSCOVR image of Earth so much. Subtler colors feel more real than previous "Blue Marble" pics. Yet reefs still electric blue- Emily Lakdawalla (@elakdawalla) 20 July 2015
The DSCOVR satellite, strongly supported by Al Gore and launched in February 2015, will serve to monitor climate change and the state of health of the Earth, as well as the study of the solar wind. From its position it has an almost continuous and undisturbed view of the side of the Earth illuminated by the Sun.