Saturday, July 25, 2015

Looking Inward

Early July, for the first time since December 1972 when Apollo 17 astronauts made the stunningly beautiful and transformational Blue Marble photographs, DSCOVR returned its first image of the sunlit face of Earth.

Following a million miles journey to the L1 Lagrange Point, the DSCOVR satellite positioned its gaze back toward Earth.
The medieval notion of the earth put man at the center of everything.
Archibald MacLeish
Lagrange Points L1 - L5
Lagrange points are positions in an orbital configuration of two large bodies, like the Sun and Earth, where a small object like a satellite, pulled by the gravity of the large bodies, maintains a stable position.
Too close to the Sun, DSCOVR moves toward the Sun. Too close to Earth, DSCOVR moves Earthward.
Images from DSCOVR are made using NOAA's imaging instrument dubbed EPIC for Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera.
If you could see the earth illuminated when you were in a place as dark as night, it would look to you more splendid than the moon.
Galileo Galilei
Sunlit side of Earth
acquired July 6, 2015 by DSCOVR

To see the earth as it truly is, small and blue and beautiful in that eternal silence where it floats, is to see ourselves a riders on the earth together, brothers on that bright loveliness in the eternal cold—brothers who know now they are truly brothers.
Archibald MacLeish