NASA Makes EPIC Update to Daily Earth Pics

by | Feb 6, 2017

An EPIC Natural Color image (left) is compared with an Enhanced Color image (right) of Earth taken on Jan. 26, 2017. (Credit: NASA/NOAA)

NASA upgraded its Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) imagery website that provides daily views of Earth from 1 million miles away, now allowing the public to choose natural or enhanced color images of Earth as well as zoom into an area on the globe.

The ˜enhanced' color images make land features more visible, said Sasha Marshak, DSCOVR deputy project scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. This is achieved by enhancing low-intensity pixel values. The effect of atmospheric haze caused by air molecular scattering and attenuation of solar light by ozone has been also removed.

EPIC is a four megapixel CCD camera and telescope aboard NOAA's DSCOVR satellite that takes 10 narrow-band spectral images of the entire sunlit face of Earth from 317 to 780 nanometers. EPIC takes a new picture approximately every hour from mid-April to mid-October or every two hours for the rest of the year. EPIC images reveal how the planet would look to human eyes, capturing the ever-changing motion of clouds and weather systems as well as the fixed features of Earth such as deserts, forests and the distinct blues of different seas.

The website upgrade includes a new magnification feature where users get a zoomed-in look at an area under their cursor. There is also information that provides the EPIC camera's distance to Earth and the sun.

 

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