Updated 20 May, 2013, 8:22 pm IST
Russian weather satellite captures Earth like never before
| by Anuradha Shetty |
Planet Earth, our home has been captured by Electro-L, Russia's latest weather satellite in its most splendid avatar, and the image itself is a never-seen before one and the best, yet. Electro-L captured Earth in a mind-boggling 121 megapixels rich image, that too in a single shot, according to a Gizmodo report. Not only has this image of the Earth been captured in the highest resolution (no other image of the planet boasts of this resolution), but also the fact that other images of the planet, captured by NASA and several other agencies are arrived at by stitching several images together, this one is rare. A Daily Mail report adds that the satellite, which was launched in January 2011, has been capturing images of such brilliance every 30 minutes, since its launch in a bid to monitor weather conditions. The report adds that during times of strange weather conditions, the satellite can be commanded to capture such images every 10 minutes by Russian operators.
Earth, like never seen before (Image credit: Gizmodo)
The weather satellite, according to reports is currently orbiting Earth on a geostationary orbit 36,000 kilometers above the equator. Reports add that the satellite's ability to send such high resolution images every 30 minutes is facilitated by using a 2.56 to 16.36 Mbits per second connection with ground control. The report adds that the images and the video of the Northern Hemisphere includes four light wavelengths, three visible and one infrared. The orange in the image above depicts vegetation, instead of the colour green as one may come to expect. Robert Simmon, a scientist at the NASA Earth Observatory, Goddard Space Flight Center, the report states, "Elektro-L is a Russian Satellite similar to GOES (the satellites that provide the cloud image loops shown on the news every night). The images posted by Gizmodo are a combination of visible and near-infrared wavelengths, so they show the Earth in a way not visible to human eyes (vegetation looks red, for example). They're not any better or worse than NASA images, but they show different things."
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