Pictures of Earth From 1972 to Today

To celebrate NASA’s newest photo of Earth, here’s a look at some of the images that came before it.

By Becky Little
Published 9 Nov 2017, 03:37 GMT

NASA has released a jaw-dropping photo of the entire sunlit side of Earth—the first since the original Blue Marble photo in 1972. NASA has released several similar images of Earth since then, but they were stitched together from multiple photos taken at different times. Unlike those, this latest photo captured the planet's sunny side at one moment.

This new view of Earth comes from a mission meant to collect this kind of data. NASA's Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) provides a continuous look at Earth’s sunlit face. With a 24-hour view of where the sun shines, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration hopes to track solar storms before they hit Earth.

(Read about the DSCOVR launch.)

DSCOVR took this week’s photo from one million miles away. The Apollo 17 crew took the original Blue Marble from 28,000 miles away. Compared to the original, the new shot may look a little bluer. That’s because the photo hasn’t been colour-corrected to account for sunlight scattered by air molecules, which tints the Earth blue when viewed from space—making the DSCOVR’s photo a distinctly hued marble.

Read More

You might also like

Meet the Crews Preparing for Human Life on Mars
See Earth and Its Moon From Saturn in Stunning New NASA Photo
NASA Finds 'Definitive' Liquid Water on Mars
Mars was at Its Biggest and Brightest for a Decade
A year in space

Explore Nat Geo

  • Animals
  • Environment
  • History & Culture
  • Science
  • Travel
  • Photography
  • Space
  • Adventure
  • Video

About us


  • Magazines
  • Newsletter
  • Disney+

Follow us

Copyright © 1996-2015 National Geographic Society. Copyright © 2015-2021 National Geographic Partners, LLC. All rights reserved