Earth Day Timelapse

In honor of Earth Day, enjoy this beautiful timelapse compiled by science educator James Drake, who put together one of the first ISS flyover videos. This video was created from images produced by the Russian geostationary Electro-L Weather Satellite, and the images are some of the largest whole disk images of our planet, as the satellite is orbiting at about 40,000 km. Each image is 121 megapixels, and the resolution is 1 kilometer per pixel. They are taken every half hour in four different wavelengths of light — three visible, and one infrared. The infrared light is reflected by forests and vegetation, which appear orange in these images. Enjoy!

See more at Drake’s Planet Earth web page, including a zoomable, full resolution image of Earth, as well as other image downloads.

Nancy Atkinson

Nancy has been with Universe Today since 2004. She is the author of a new book on the Apollo program, "Eight Years to the Moon," which shares the stories of 60 engineers and scientists who worked behind the scenes to make landing on the Moon possible. Her first book, "Incredible Stories from Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos" tells the stories of those who work on NASA's robotic missions to explore the Solar System and beyond.

View Comments

  • I think they could have done without the infrared, or at least toned it down alot. Half the land looking red just doesn't look right.

  • Time's cycles of motion, in rotations through Space,
    In cloud-draped swirls of air, and tidal-flows of seas.

    A World's animating rhythms in life's daily heart-beat.
    Through the movements of seasons, in turn of year.

    (More dramatic and impacting, if this had been done in
    natural-color time-lapse, I agree.)

  • Time's cycles of motion, in rotations through Space,
    In cloud-draped swirls of air, and tidal-flows of seas.

    A World's animating rhythms in life's daily heart-beat.
    Through the movements of seasons, in turn of year.

    (More dramatic and impacting, if this had been done in
    natural-color time-lapse, I agree.)

  • Love it. Awesome to see that arc of color switch sides when the planet's nearly all in darkness.

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