Today NASA paid off on its promise to launch a website featuring daily images from the Deep Space Climate Observatory – and it’s spectacular.
The refrigerator-sized spacecraft – which has been known as DSCOVR, Triana and GoreSat, depending on the era – was launched in February after 17 years of ups and downs in mission development.
Environmentalist Al Gore touted the mission as far back as 1998, while he was vice president, as a way to show the world full-disk images of our beautiful home planet. That idea was scratched when Gore left office and the Republicans took over the White House. After spending several years in mothballs, the probe was retooled to watch for incoming solar storms as well as monitor Earth’s climate.
Since the launch, NASA has been gearing up to provide a steady flow of near-real-time color images of Earth, as seen from a gravitational balance point known as L1, a million miles out. Starting today, at least a dozen pictures from DSCOVR’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera, or EPIC, will be posted on the Web every day.
As you’d expect, Gore had warm words about the website:
— Al Gore (@algore) October 19, 2015
Check out this time-lapse look at an entire day’s rotation of our planet, documented by 19 still images from EPIC on Oct. 17. The two storms you see whirling in white through the Pacific are Typhoon Koppu and Typhoon Champi, which you may be hearing more about in the next few days.