NASA Makes an EPIC Update to Website for Daily Earth Pics
NASA has upgraded its website that provides daily views of the Earth from one million miles away. NASA’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) camera imagery website was recently updated allowing the public to choose natural or enhanced color images of the Earth and even zoom into an area on the globe.
“The ‘enhanced’ color images make land features more visible,” said Sasha Marshak, DSCOVR deputy project scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland. “This is achieved by enhancing low intensity pixel values. The effect of atmospheric haze caused by air molecular scattering and attenuation of solar light by ozone has been also removed.”
The website was initially launched in 2015 after NOAA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory or DSCOVR satellite achieved orbit almost one million miles from Earth. DSCOVR is a NOAA Earth observation and space weather satellite launched by Space-X on a Falcon 9 launch vehicle on February 11, 2015 from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
The website upgrade includes a new magnification feature where users get a zoomed-in look at an area under their cursor. Magnified areas appear in a circular box on screen.
A new “Image Information” box on the left-hand side of the website allows for downloading the image on screen (by clicking on a down arrow). There is also information that provides the EPIC camera’s distance to Earth and to the sun. The Sun-Earth-Vehicle angle is also listed.
A map of the Earth in the “Image Information” box shows the user which side of the Earth is being shown by the EPIC image.
Below the “Image Information” section is a new “Slideshow controls” section. Users can click on the right facing arrow (>) to move through all of the latest day’s images. By clicking on the arrow, the viewer will see the images update as the Earth rotates, providing views of the whole planet.
The most recent images are always on the front of the webpage. To find images for a specific date, users can click on the date in the “slideshow controls” box, and a drop down calendar will allow selection of images from another date (other than the latest date).
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Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.