Stunning Timelapse of Planet Earth from Elektro-L

by Nancy Atkinson on May 17, 2012

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We’ve shared the images and a previous timelapse of Earth’s northern hemisphere, but now here’s a breath-taking timelapse of the entire blue (and green!) marble as seen from Russia’s Elektro-L weather-forecasting satellite, orbiting at a geostationary height of about 36,000 km (22,300 miles). This new video was created by James Drake using some of the largest whole disk images of our planet, as each image is 121 megapixels, and the resolution is 1 kilometer per pixel. The satellite’s wide-angle Multichannel Scanning Unit (MSU) takes images every 15-30 minutes, showing the same viewpoint of Earth across progressive times of the day and the images are in four different wavelengths of light — three visible, and one infrared.

It’s a beautiful view of home.

See more information about Elektro-L at the Russian Federal Space Agency’s Research Center for Earth Operative Monitoring (NTS OMZ). See more images and video from Elektro-L on James Drake’s Planet Earth website.

About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also is the host of the NASA Lunar Science Institute podcast and works with Astronomy Cast. Nancy is also a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

Ted Judah May 17, 2012 at 7:21 PM

The super saturated color gives it a CG feel. I would love to see this, (and I suspect would better impress the general public) with more life-like tones.

getvinay May 18, 2012 at 3:50 AM

why city lights at night time not visible?

squidgeny May 18, 2012 at 9:22 AM

Not sure, but I know that city lights usually only come out with long-exposure shots, so maybe the cameras on this spacecraft simply couldn’t pick them up.

Kevin Parker May 19, 2012 at 12:22 AM

Cool – I don’t think I’ve ever seen a timelapse from a geosynchronous satellite, at least not one that long.

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