NASA’s Blue Marble


This spectacular “blue marble” image is the most detailed true-color image of the entire Earth to date. Using a collection of satellite-based observations, scientists and visualizers stitched together months of observations of the land surface, oceans, sea ice, and clouds into a seamless, true-color mosaic of every square kilometer (.386 square mile) of our planet. These images are freely available to educators, scientists, museums, and the public. This record includes preview images and links to full resolution versions up to 21,600 pixels across.

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Andromeda in Ultraviolet

Sounds like an avant-garde theater production. It’s the latest mosaic image from NASA‘s Swift satellite:

Image Credit: NASA/Swift/Stefan Immler (GSFC) and Erin Grand (UMCP)

Image Credit: NASA/Swift/Stefan Immler (GSFC) and Erin Grand (UMCP)

In a break from its usual task of searching for distant cosmic explosions, NASA‘s Swift satellite acquired the highest-resolution view of a neighboring spiral galaxy ever attained in the ultraviolet. The galaxy, known as M31 in the constellation Andromeda, is the largest and closest spiral galaxy to our own. This mosaic of M31 merges 330 individual images taken by Swift’s Ultraviolet/Optical Telescope. The image shows a region 200,000 light-years wide and 100,000 light-years high (100 arcminutes by 50 arcminutes). Image Credit: NASA/Swift/Stefan Immler (GSFC) and Erin Grand (UMCP)


Lunar H2Oh…

Lunar H20

From our friends at NASA:

NASA’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper, an instrument on the Indian Space Research Organization’s Chandrayaan-1 mission, took this image of Earth’s moon. It is a three-color composite of reflected near-infrared radiation from the sun, and illustrates the extent to which different materials are mapped across the side of the moon that faces Earth. Small amounts of water were detected on the surface of the moon at various locations.

This image illustrates their distribution at high latitudes toward the poles. Blue shows the signature of water, green shows the brightness of the surface as measured by reflected infrared radiation from the sun and red shows an iron-bearing mineral called pyroxene.

Image Credit: ISRO/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Brown Univ./USGS