Forty-three years ago, NASA's Apollo 17 mission photographed the most iconic image of Earth. It's called the "Blue Marble," a sunlit picture that continues to entice and amaze anyone who sees it. Just today, NASA released the first sunlit photo of Earth taken since then, and it's incredible.
Taken one million miles away on July 6 by NASA's Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC), which is both a camera and telescope, the new photograph shows North and Central America, whereas the previous one captured Africa, Antarctica, and the Arabian Peninsula. Though the photograph is extremely rich in detail, it is actually a combination of three images — and won't even be the last photo we'll see of the Earth. NASA'S EPIC will soon begin to take a daily photo of Earth, which will then be available for viewing on a website in September.
While seeing these images will help deepen people's connections to space, it is part of a greater mission called the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR), which aims to track the country's "real-time solar wind monitoring capabilities," which are used to predict weather alerts and forecasts.
Oh, NASA, please continue to amaze us with the wonders of space.