One year on Earth
More than 3,000 images captured by EPIC camera into a time-lapse sequence that shows a year in the life of our planet.
EPIC is an Earth science instrument aboard the DSCOVR satellite, which launched in February 2015.
The spacecraft always remains between the sun and the Earth approximately 1 million miles away, at a special gravitational balance point known as Lagrange 1. From this view, EPIC sees the sunrise in the west and the sunset in at least 13 times a day. The haze seen around the edges is due to scattering of light by molecules in the atmosphere. Scattering is also what makes the sky appear blue during the day and red at sunset. The colors shown are our best estimate of what a human sitting at the location of EPIC would see. EPIC takes at least one set of images about every two hours. The camera records each set in 10 different wavelengths. At least three separate wavelengths - red, green, and blue--are combined to produce this color view.
In March, the moon passed between the Earth and the sun causing a total solar eclipse. During the eclipse, the moon cast its shadow over a portion of the planet. If we slow the video down, we can see the moon's shadow make an appearance right about now. Although the view from EPIC is only once every two hours, we're able to track features like the motion of clouds.
Around two-thirds of the Earth is covered by clouds. Clouds reflect light from the sun, helping to keep the planet cool. They also trap heat rising from the surface, keeping the planet warm. Changes in cloud cover affect the heat balance and how warm the Earth becomes, which is one of the reasons why we must study them.
The hourly images of the entire sunlit side of the Earth provided by EPIC will be used to study the daily variations of features over the entire globe helping us to better understand and protect our home planet.