Watch This Incredible, Year-Long Time-Lapse Video of the Earth and Also Learn Some Science
No matter how many people on the Internet would like to convince you otherwise, the Earth is a giant ball spinning through space at very high speeds, which makes it particularly difficult to photograph. NASA is up to the challenge, though, and this amazing time-lapse video shows a static view of the Earth from space (which will probably spawn some conspiracy theories in itself) over the course of a year and just might teach you a little science.
The video comes from the NOAA’s DSCOVR satellite, which sits about one million miles away from our home here on the ground at Lagrange point 1, a sort of gravitational balance point between the Earth and the Sun. That allows it to follow along with the Earth in its yearly orbit with a clear view of the planet in order to (from the video’s description) “monitor ozone and aerosol levels in Earth’s atmosphere, cloud height, vegetation properties and the ultraviolet reflectivity of Earth.
The primary objective of DSCOVR, a partnership between NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Air Force, is to maintain the nation’s real-time solar wind monitoring capabilities, which are critical to the accuracy and lead time of space weather alerts and forecasts from NOAA.”
It also makes for some pretty compelling time-lapse photography. If you watch carefully, you can see the clouds shift and change, as well as watch the seasons run their course as first the south pole comes into view, and then the north. The satellite’s first, impressive image was released last year on July 20, and now we finally have a full year’s worth of the Earth to marvel at—or science is a lie, the Earth is flat, and the universe is boring. Take your pick.
—The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—
Have a tip we should know? email@example.com