Dramatic Photo Of Earth Is First To Show Entire Sunlit Side Of Planet

Dramatic photos of Earth from space are nothing new, but NASA swears you’ve never seen anything like this.

A camera aboard the space agency’s Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite has captured what’s being called the first photo ever to show the entire sunlit side of the Earth.

The space agency is calling the astonishing image “EPIC” — a play on the abbreviation for the camera’s formal name, the Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera.

Taken on July 6, 2015, the image is a mash-up of three separate images taken from a distance of 1 million miles. The scattering of sunlight by air molecules gives the image a bluish cast, but scientists are working to remove this in subsequent renderings.

NASA plans to begin publishing a daily series of photos of the Earth, all taken by EPIC, by September 2015.

The DSCOVR spacecraft represents a partnership between NASA, the U.S. Air Force, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It was launched Feb. 11, 2015.

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