Russian satellite shows a different shade of Earth

May 16, 2012
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There are some beautiful images that’ve been making the rounds on the web this week that are worth taking a look at. They are shots of Earth from space taken by a Russian weather satellite.

The first thing that’s noticeable about the image is the amount of red on the continents. This is due to the fact that there are four wavelengths being used to make the image: three are in the visible light rage and one is infrared, which causes heavily vegetated areas to appear red, according to Radio Free Europe.

The photos taken by the Russian meteorological satellite, EleKtro-L 1, which has been in geostationary orbit since early 2011. The satellite is set up to take extremely hi-res pictures (1 km per pixel) of cloud patterns every 30 minutes, and the Russian space agency posts the the archives online along with some beautiful time lapses.

The website Gigapan has made one of these photos into an extremely zoomable image. The zooming ability is reminiscent of various satellite maps, which  just makes it that much more impressive as it is made from one image as opposed to the thousands stitched together to make up Google’s.

For more information, Gizmodo has a pretty good feature on the satellite and the ways that its images differ from NASA’s Blue Marble.

 

 

 


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About the Author

Joshua Boissevain

Joshua Boissevain is a research associate and editorial assistant at Transitions Online. He's also a freelance journalist and photographer based in Prague. Find him on twitter at @joshboissevain.
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