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article imageNASA releases new high-definition 'Blue Marble' image of Earth

By JohnThomas Didymus     Jan 25, 2012 in Science
NASA has released a new high-definition "Blue Marble" image of the Earth taken from the VIIRS instrument aboard the Suomi NPP satellite launched on October 28, 2011 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, in California.
NASA says the "Blue Marble" image is a composite image using a number of swaths of the Earth's surface taken on January 4, 2012.
Suomi NPP is the first of a new generation of Earth-observing satellites being deployed in orbit to observe the Earth and its changes.
The National Polar-Orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) Preparatory Project, or NPP, was renamed "Suomi NPP" on January 24, 2012 in honor of the late Verner E. Suomi of the University of Wisconsin. Suomi was a meteorologist at the University of Wisconsin widely recognized as the "father of satellite meteorology."
Verner E. Suomi   father of satellite meteorology
Verner E. Suomi, "father of satellite meteorology"
University of Wisconsin
Suomi NPP, according to NASA, will collect critical data to improve short-term weather forecasts and increase understanding of the patterns of long-term climate change.
NASA s  Blue Marble  high definition image of the Earth
NASA's 'Blue Marble' high definition image of the Earth
NASA
The NPP mission is a bridge between NASA's Earth Observing System satellites and the next-generation Joint Polar Satellite System or JPSS, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) program.
According to Michael Freilich, director of the Earth Science Division in NASA's Science Mission Directorate, "Suomi NPP will advance our scientific knowledge of Earth and improve the lives of Americans by enabling more accurate forecasts of weather, ocean conditions and the terrestrial biosphere."
The mission is the product of a partnership between NASA, NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), the Department of Defense, the private sector and academic researchers.
The satellite is carrying five instruments on board. The most important of which is The Visible/Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite or VIIRS.
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