When you think back about a year, the daily rotation of the Earth and its trek around the sun don't often factor into those recollections. But for the satellite Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR), the daily rotation of the Earth is one of the only things on its computerized brain.
Launched in July 2015, DSCOVR is positioned 1 million miles from Earth, balanced between the gravity of Earth and the sun. Its mission is to monitor solar wind, which can influence the accuracy of NOAA's space weather alerts and forecasts. With the Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC), DSCOVR does more than just keep an eye on solar wind; it snaps a few photos of Earth every two hours. These photos given scientists a unique view of the movement of the clouds, how weather systems move and even some geographic features of the planet.
Compiling more than 3,000 images into a time-lapse video, EPIC now gives us a sense of our Earth spinning about its axis and its orbit around the sun over the course of a year. While a bit larger than Carl Sagan's pale blue dot, DSCOVR and EPIC's view of the Earth reminds us of the bigger things happening around us.
Take a listen as EPIC lead scientist Jay Herman walks you through this informative and mesmerizing video.