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Wednesday, 19 April, 2000, 10:31 GMT 11:31 UK
Planet Earth gets a makeover
Earth Stockli, Nelson and Hasler
Blue Marble 2000 (Stockli, Nelson and Hasler)
Nasa scientists have created this stunning new image of the Earth. It is a composite using data from three different Earth-observing satellite instruments.


Earth Stockli, Nelson and Hasler
Hurricane Linda blows in the Eastern Pacific
The image was put together to mark the 30th anniversary of Earth Day this Saturday. The space agency has trailed it as an update on the famous "Blue Marble" image of our planet taken by Apollo astronauts.

Part of the new portrait shows an immense hurricane in the Eastern Pacific - Hurricane Linda. You can also see the shallow, azure waters of the Caribbean and sediments around the mouth of the Amazon River.

Exaggerated heights

On land, heavy vegetation is green and sparse vegetation is yellow. The heights of mountains and depths of valleys have been exaggerated by 50 times their actual levels so that vertical relief is visible. The shadows for the mountains were calculated from the exaggerated heights.


Nasa
The original Blue Marble was taken by lunar astronauts
The presence of the Moon in the top left of the image is a piece of digital artistic licence.

The Nasa scientists were based at the Laboratory for Atmospheres at the Goddard Space Flight Center.

They used data from the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (Goes), the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) satellite and the Polar Orbiting Environmental Satellites (Poes).

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See also:

01 Nov 99 | Sci/Tech
Eye over the Amazon
29 Feb 00 | Sci/Tech
Satellite snaps a mighty sandstorm
07 Feb 00 | Sci/Tech
Eyeing the London Eye from space
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