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Ever wondered what a year on Earth looks like from outer space? Well, thanks to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), you don't have to wonder anymore.
EPIC's photo of Earth at 10:39 on July 16 as the DSCOVR satellite was over Sudan.Photo credit: DSCOVR:EPIC
NASA's Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) onboard the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) snaps about one set of images—each image capturing a different set of wavelengths—of the sunlit side of Earth every two hours. More than 3,000 images shows what a year on our planet looks like. Every image captured by EPIC can be viewed on the camera's Twitter page.
EPIC views the sunrise and sunset at least 13 times a day from its place approximately 1 million miles away.
The images captured by the camera aren't just for fun. The images help scientists study changes in Earth's ozone, vegetation and clouds, Jay Herman, EPIC lead scientist, said.
"The hourly images of the entire sunlit side of Earth, provided by EPIC, 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 said.
DSCOVR was launched in February 2015 and sent back its first image of Earth in July 2015. EPIC has also captured phenomenons such as the moon "photobombing" Earth during its time in outer space. The satellite mission is a partnership between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), NASA and the U.S. Air Force.
Watch the time lapse created by EPIC's photos below:
A National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) satellite captured the moon moving past the sunlit side of the Earth for the second time in a year.
Photo credit: NASA
The Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite captured the images while orbiting 1 million miles away from Earth. Sitting between the sun and Earth, DSCOVR's primary mission is to monitor solar wind for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), as EurekAlert noted.
"For the second time in the life of DSCOVR, the moon moved between the spacecraft and Earth," Adam Szabo, DSCOVR project scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, said. "The project recorded this event on July 5 with the same cadence and spatial resolution as the first 'lunar photobomb' of last year."
A camera onboard the satellite, Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC), is always focused on the sunlit side of Earth to provide observations of ozone, vegetation, cloud height and aerosols in Earth's atmosphere, EurekAlert reported. But for this moment, the camera focused on the moon.
The images seen in the gif above were taken between 11:50 p.m. on July 4 and 3:18 a.m. on July 5. The moon is moving over the Indian and Pacific oceans.
EPIC recorded the first occurrence of the moon "photobomb" between 3:50 and 8:45 p.m. on July 16, 2015.
DSCOVR has also captured eclipses on camera, according to the satellite's website.
The satellite mission is a partnership between NOAA, NASA and the U.S. Air Force.