NASA’s EPIC camera takes a photo of Earth

earth from nasa

Want to feel small in the dimensions of both time and space? Have we got the video for you. NASA just released this clip – a timelapse made of thousands of satellite photos – which shows an entire year on Earth from the perspective of a million miles away. It’s breathtaking.

The images come from NASA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) (okay, we get it NASA, you like acronyms).

DSCOVR is currently orbiting 1 million miles away from Earth, snapping a dozen pictures a day. Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) use these images to track daily variations in vegetation and cloud cover. As EPIC lead scientist (wow, what a job title) Jay Herman says in the video, cloud cover helps dictate how warm or cool our planet is, so monitoring changes in cloud patterns over time is an important task for climate scientists.

 If you watch through the end, you’ll catch the moon’s shadow passing over our planet. A couple times a year, things line up just right for EPIC to capture the moon itself transiting in front of the globe. The result is so incredible looking that it seems kind of fake.

Video: NASA’s EPIC camera takes a photo of Earth from its perch aboard the Deep Space Climate Observatory satellite every two hours, revealing how the planet would look to human eyes over the course of a year.(source)