Blue Marble - 2002

    Prev Next

    This spectacular “blue marble” image is the most detailed true-color image of the entire Earth to date. Using a collection of satellite-based observations, scientists and visualizers stitched together months of observations of the land surface, oceans, sea ice, and clouds into a seamless, true-color mosaic of every square kilometer (.386 square mile) of our planet. These images are freely available to educators, scientists, museums, and the public. This record includes preview images and links to full resolution versions up to 21,600 pixels across.

    Much of the information contained in this image came from a single remote-sensing device-NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, or MODIS. Flying over 700 km above the Earth onboard the Terra satellite, MODIS provides an integrated tool for observing a variety of terrestrial, oceanic, and atmospheric features of the Earth. The land and coastal ocean portions of these images are based on surface observations collected from June through September 2001 and combined, or composited, every eight days to compensate for clouds that might block the sensor’s view of the surface on any single day. Two different types of ocean data were used in these images: shallow water true color data, and global ocean color (or chlorophyll) data. Topographic shading is based on the GTOPO 30 elevation dataset compiled by the U.S. Geological Survey’s EROS Data Center. MODIS observations of polar sea ice were combined with observations of Antarctica made by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s AVHRR sensor—the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer. The cloud image is a composite of two days of imagery collected in visible light wavelengths and a third day of thermal infra-red imagery over the poles. Global city lights, derived from 9 months of observations from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program, are superimposed on a darkened land surface map.

    For more information related to NASA's Blue Marble go to:

    NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission.

    Follow us on Twitter

    Join us on Facebook

    Find us on Instagram

    To view an animation of this image go

    For another view go

    Credit NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Image by Reto Stöckli (land surface, shallow water, clouds). Enhancements by Robert Simmon (ocean color, compositing, 3D globes, animation). Data and technical support: MODIS Land Group; MODIS Science Data Support Team; MODIS Atmosphere Group; MODIS Ocean Group Additional data: USGS EROS Data Center (topography); USGS Terrestrial Remote Sensing Flagstaff Field Center (Antarctica); Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (city lights).

    philgribbon, Erickson Batista, and 1372 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    View 20 more comments

    1. Toygun Çetin 48 months ago | reply

      this is wonderful image!

    2. Gerry Gutteridge 48 months ago | reply

      We are so lucky but we do not know it....! Gerry

    3. RaSeLaSeD - Il Pinguino 48 months ago | reply

      Wow!!Breath taking!!!

    4. T3N60 48 months ago | reply

      I see the routes and travels around world at sea?

    5. szymon7 47 months ago | reply

      Great photo

    6. Alfox5 45 months ago | reply

      Bike Parts Really!!!! Amazing...

    7. Monte Mendoza 44 months ago | reply

      Where were you standing when you took this?

    8. macandeman 39 months ago | reply

      Fantastic photos! As I look at these earth pictures I'm reminded of just how much water is present. Now, think of what would happen if there was no gravity to keep the water attached to the earth...

    9. vladimir DGama 36 months ago | reply

      Earth is my Mother save Earth
      from Vladimir Ceo Flickr

    10. vladimir DGama 36 months ago | reply

      There are many wealth.Upon Earth Yet not know.
      from Vladimir

    11. vladimir DGama 35 months ago | reply

      If was look at the Earth from the moon it is very beautiful it is so real the ligh little green
      from Vladimr Dgama rearch center
      invited Your friends in one happy family

    12. geo386 28 months ago | reply

      isn't she beatiful!!!

    13. miyuki733 20 months ago | reply

      So beautiful.

    14. LynRDavis 11 months ago | reply

      Thank you. Perfect shot for my blog

    keyboard shortcuts: previous photo next photo L view in light box F favorite < scroll film strip left > scroll film strip right ? show all shortcuts