First Global Images of Earth are Received

NASA’s NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP) satellite has sent the first global images of the Earth. The NPP satellite was launched on October 28 and is dedicated to climate control and weather forecasting. The satellite is traveling in the Earth’s orbit at 16,640 mph (26,780 kph) and is screening the Earth on the daily basis. On November 24, from the height of 512 miles (824 kilometers) above Earth, the Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) system installed on the NPP satellite has taken the most impressive global pictures of the Earth. The NPP satellite is placed in the sun-synchronous orbit, which allows it for maintaining the same angle between Earth and the sun so that all images have similar lighting. 

The NPP satellite makes a full screening of the Earth surface in long wedges measuring 1,900 miles (3,000 km) across during the whole daylight period. At the end of the day, the last taken picture overlaps the first taken one thus giving a complete image of the Earth during the day. Only Arctic is missing in the images because it is too dark to view it in visible light during the winter. It is planned that in the future, when the VIIRS system on the NPP satellite will become fully functional, it will make a range of measurements, from ocean temperature to clouds and locations of fires on the Earth.