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.