A year of Earth from a million miles

The camera on the DSCOVR satellite has recorded a full year of the sunlit side of Earth from its orbit about a million miles from Earth at Lagrange point 1.

Lagrange 1 is a point in the Earth-sun system some 932,000 miles (1.5 million km) from Earth, where the the gravitational forces between the sun and Earth create a relatively stable place for a space vehicle to orbit. A spacecraft can orbit the Lagrange 1 point just as it can orbit a planet. Lagrange 1 lies far beyond Earth’s magnetic environment, making it a perfect place to measure the constant stream of particles from the sun, known as the solar wind, as they pass by.

DSCOVR launched on February 11, 2015. A year ago – July 20, 2015 – NASA released the first image of the sunlit side of Earth captured by the spacecraft’s EPIC camera.

NASA said this about DSCOVR’s EPIC camera:

EPIC takes a new picture every two hours, revealing how the planet would look to human eyes, capturing the ever-changing motion of clouds and weather systems and the fixed features of Earth such as deserts, forests and the distinct blues of different seas. EPIC will allow scientists to monitor ozone and aerosol levels in Earth’s atmosphere, cloud height, vegetation properties and the ultraviolet reflectivity of Earth.

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Bottom line: Video shows a full year of Earth, seen from a million miles away by the DSCOVR spacecraft.

July 24, 2016

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Eleanor Imster

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