One year ago, NASA treated earthlings to a magnificent view of our home planet from a vantage point some 1 million miles away.
Since then, the agency’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera ― appropriately nicknamed EPIC ― has captured thousands of dazzling photographs. And on Wednesday, NASA blew our minds again with the release of a stunning time-lapse image, built from more than 3,000 photos, showing a full year of Earth’s dizzying dance.
EPIC, which is attached to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Deep Space Climate Observatory, takes a color image of the sunlit side of Earth about every two hours.
The camera’s vantage point allows it to view sunrise and sunset at least 13 times per day, as lead scientist Jay Herman explains in the new video.
Beyond their evident beauty, EPIC’s photos “will be used to study the daily variations of features over the entire globe, helping us to better understand ― and protect ― our home planet,” Herman says. NASA researchers will be able to measure cloud height, ozone and aerosol levels, vegetation and more.
If you need us, we’ll be contemplating our tiny existence on this planet we call home.