NASA has launched a new website allowing the public to view images snapped by its Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite. The service will provide multiple shots of stunning Earth imagery seven days a week, mere hours after capture.
DSCOVR is operated through a partnership between NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the US Air Force, with a mission to monitor space weather emanating from the Sun, and serve as a form of early warning system for potentially harmful events.
DSCOVR will also make use of its position relative to Earth to keep track of daily variations in our planet's atmospheric and surface health. The images uploaded to the website are captured by the probe's Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC), an advanced camera with an effective resolution ranging from 6.2 - 9.4 miles (10 - 15 km).
The orbiter is able to regularly capture Earth's disk fully bathed in sunlight thanks to its presence at what is known as the L1 Lagrange point, a special orbital position about one million miles out from our planet that places the probe in a near constant position suspended between the Earth and Sun.
Images featured on the website are captured roughly 12 – 36 hours prior to release, and feature a simple graphic to the top left of the page informing users of the relative positions and distances of the DSCOVR satellite and our Sun. The page also displays a globe highlighting the landmasses that are in view.
Archived images will be accessible by searching for the subject's capture date and the continents displayed in the image.
With the website operational, NASA will provide a regular stream of images to the public at a rate of at least a dozen per day, representing the most comprehensive and unified full-Earth viewing service ever launched.
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