back to article NASA deep space scope serves up EPIC Earth snapshots

NASA has unveiled a portal serving daily images of Earth snapped by its Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR). Screen grab of the new EPIC images site From a distance of roughly 1.5 million kilometres, at the L1 Lagrange point between the Earth and the Sun, the spacecraft's Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) will …

  1. tony2heads

    Dull moon

    Perhaps not so surprising that clouds and water reflect light better that rocks and sand. If you compare the lunar surface with e.g. Australia they are not wildly different in brightness.

    1. Def Silver badge

      Re: Dull moon

      That's no moon.

      1. El_Fev

        Re: Dull moon

        This deserves more upvotes, christ kids today :(

    2. Kubla Cant

      Re: Dull moon

      If you compare the lunar surface with e.g. Australia they are not wildly different in brightness.

      So you're implying that Australia is as dull as the moon? Some people may take exception to that.

      1. Crazy Operations Guy

        Re: Dull moon

        " Some people may take exception to that."

        Yeah, the moon is much more exciting.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Dull moon

        If you mean Western Australia, then, yes, it is dull.

  2. smartypants

    How small and beautiful

    Seeing our world like this always blows my mind and puts the petty bickering of daily life into perspective.

    1. DropBear

      Re: How small and beautiful

      Hardly surprising, really. From that distance and at that scale obviously not all that much detail is discernible - and as we well know, the devil is in the details...

      1. PhilJIII

        Re: How small and beautiful

        Resolution around 6 miles according to the article which is pretty damn good at that distance. The smallest object that can be picked up by Hubble on the moon would have to be the size of a football stadium.

        It isn't just about lenses, everything, subject and cameras are moving fast.

    2. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge

      Re: How small and beautiful

      Typical Windows user--you would say that, wouldn't you?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They would say that..

    You can't see the stars as it obviously a fake, no one can simulate the stars. Look at the frame rate, like 1 a second, obviously a fake, stop motion paper cut outs, couldn't be anything else, there isn't even a shadow on the earth from the moon.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: They would say that..

      This is obviously a flamebait, but I am going to bite:

      couldn't be anything else, there isn't even a shadow on the earth from the moon.

      You have to wait for the 8th of March next year my dear to see the shadow of the moon on the Earth surface. On the picture in question the moon is off the line between Sun-L1-Earth enough not to throw a shadow.

      Do not fret, it will be there next year. At least that is what the solar eclipse calendar says. The same calendar says that there was no total solar eclipse in the equatorial lattitudes and the southern hemisphere (so you can see shadow from L1 with _THIS_ moon traversal) in 2015. The rather small partial in September 2015 is not likely to have been very visible as it was close to the polar regions during the early polar spring (so bad sun angle to observe from L1).

      In fact it would have been fake if you _COULD_ see a shadow, because there was no instance so far when this particular sat could have taken the picture of the shadow

      1. Patched Out

        Re: They would say that..

        Obviously your sarcasm/joke detector was not working. The needle was pegged on mine.

      2. DropBear

        Re: They would say that..

        But, but, but... there's supposed to be some flags on the Moon, and I can't see any in that picture! It's clearly a fake!!!

        1. Stevie

          No flags

          All the flags are on the side you can't see in the animation. What gives it away as a fake is no evidence of Russian Robot Jeeps anywhere, nor the scar left by the crash landing of Her Majesty's Cavorite Sphere "Britannia", lost with all hands sometime in late 1889.

          1. choleric

            Re: No flags

            What really gives it away is how quick the moon goes round the far side of the earth and comes round again on that animation. It must be fake because there's no way it could accelerate and decelerate that fast.

          2. tony2heads

            Re: No flags

            But what about the secret Nazi base

            Goodwin's law strikes again

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: They would say that..


          I thought of that also after posting, but decided to get back to work:)

      3. This post has been deleted by its author

      4. Martin Budden

        Re: They would say that.. @Voland's right hand

        The satellite isn't actually at L1 (despite what the article says), it is orbiting L1. This is why you can see a slight shadow on the right side of both moon and earth: the satellite is not directly between sun and earth.

        p.s. it is a Lissajous orbit, which never puts the satellite directly between sun and earth, and is unstable which means the satellite must actively use propulsion to prevent itself from drifting off.

    2. Captain DaFt

      Re: They would say that..

      Proves the Moon is American.

      A fortune spent to photograph the Earth, and the Moon photo-bombs the picture, mooning us!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Stop being so inspired human! Get back to fighting for every resource, bombing for peace, designing weapons system, demonizing other humans from the same blue dot and being so totally scared out of your mind that you can't even question the current system that pits all tiny humans against each other. It divides us by all sorts of pointless things that make no sense.

    Stop with your dreaming of perfect wonder on this planet. That kind of lovely thought will not be tolerated. We are all in debt for trillions....must be the aliens...Pay to live on the blue is your destiny...look...

  5. Stevie


    Typical NASA: can't be arsed to fake a decent shot and so serve up stunning real photos instead.

    When will they be taken to task and made to admit the Moon Landings were real, not properly produced fakes? The public has a right to know.

    1. Philip Lewis

      Re: Bah!

      IIRC NASA did allocate a bit of Hubble time to photograph the surface of the moon. Since the resolution was still greater than the size of the objects (lander, rover etc) they were not visible. However the Rover tracks in the dust were visible.

      Of course I may have dreamed all of this.

      1. cray74

        Re: Bah!

        The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter was able to spot the landers, flags, and hardware.

    2. Crazy Operations Guy

      Re: Bah!

      I love how there actually was a moon landing conspiracy, except it was the Russians manipulating us into believing that the landing was faked, or at least cast doubt. Ah, Cold War PsyOps...

      1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

        Re: Bah!

        In one of the BOFH stories the BOFH tells the boss that the PFY thinks that the 'the-moon-landings-were-a-fake-conspiracy-theory' was in fact started by NASA after they actually did land on the moon - in order to cover up what they really found there ...

        (Can't remember which episode. Can't be asked to look it up right now.)

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Re: Bah!

          The living rock creatures in a cra**y horror sci-fi film

          1. Captain DaFt

            Re: Bah!

            "The living rock creatures in a cra**y horror sci-fi film"

            This one? It wasn't so bad.

            The remake sucked balls though.

  6. Ru'

    Utterly faked; everyone knows the side of the moon shown in that "cartoon" is dark!

    1. Anonymous Coward

      That side IS dark. As a matter of fact it's all dark...

  7. Fullbeem

    Look like it was ripped straight from Kerbal Space Program

  8. Valerion

    Death Star

    Does anyone else think the moon traversing the earth looks rather like a Death Star going past? Or is that just me?

    1. Hollerith 1

      Re: Death Star

      My first thought.

  9. Roger Kynaston Silver badge

    Nice pics

    Could they get the next probe to the outer planets (Pluto Lander?) to turn back and snap us from a very long way away?

    Beer because the designers and operators deserve one.

    1. DropBear

      Re: Nice pics mean like this...?

  10. Cardinal

    Knock, knock....

    Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us.

    1. Benchops

      Re: Knock, knock....

      I know you've used the original text, but I can't help thinking...


  11. JJKing

    everyone knows the side of the moon shown in that "cartoon" is dark!

    There is no dark side of the moon. I have it on good authority that, as a matter of fact it's all dark.

  12. Winkypop Silver badge

    Carl Sagan

    "From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it's different. Consider again that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam."

  13. PhilJIII

    All that effort and the author calls them 'snapshots'.

  14. Mostly Harmless v2


    It is odd to me on how the Earth looks in the image. Although stunning I guess the fact we have seen both artist impressions as well as photographs before it looks a bit like a nicely rendered CGI image.

    Of course I know it isn't but when you see images of the other planets such as Mars and Pluto then they seem to look more real to me. Maybe its the familiarity of pictures of Earth?

    Cassini images of Saturn is another planet that makes it look like a CGI image. In fact when viewing it through a telescope it looks like a picture out of a text book!

    Anyway fascinating stuff especially what with the Moon transit.

  15. Benchops

    Reflection of the sun

    Is the slightly bright spot in the middle of the earth a reflection of the sun on the oceans? (yes yes I know all the light in the picture has come from the sun, but the yellowy bright spot in the middle)

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. breakfast Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Reflection of the sun

      ... I see what you are getting at- if these so-called pictures are real, WHY CAN'T WE SEE THE SHADOW OF THE SATELLITE??????

  16. breakfast Silver badge

    Activities related to planetary colouration

    Looks like planet Earth is blue. Is there anything we can do?

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