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The greatest photo ever taken of Earth?

  • Satellite snaps stunning 121 megapixel image of earth
  • Thought to be highest resolution pic ever taken of the planet
  • Infrared wavelength allows for sharper detail and turns some areas orange
The greatest photo ever taken of Earth?

The picture you're staring at right now is believed to be the highest resolution image ever taken of our planet.

The ultra-crisp, 121 megapixel photo of earth was snapped from a Russian satellite floating 22,369 miles above the Indian Ocean.

There are two major differences between this photo and the ones we typically see from NASA. The first is that's a single snapshot. Most images from space are actually composites of several smaller photos.

The second difference, and a pretty obvious one, is that there appears to be a lot of rust in places where there used to be forests and vegetation. That's not an accident. The weather satellite's image was produced by introducing an infrared wavelength, which provides new levels of detail and has the effect of turning those typically lush green patches of the planet into shades of orange or brown.

There's also an interactive version of the image here, where you can zoom in on any region. One thing you can't do is see this same quality of photo for any other part of the planet. The Elektro-L No. 1 satellite which took the picture remains stationary above the Indian Ocean, snapping new photos every 30 seconds.

Those pictures were also used to create this fantastic time lapse video:


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