Smile, you’re on camera @profmcateer @algore #DSCOVR

There is nothing that puts life’s little trivialities in perspective quite like seeing yourself. Get outside your own perspective and look at yourself. See your own weakness. Now, that is all very well and good as a personal and psychological idea. But this is hard as a scientific endeavor. Back in 1998, Al Gore proposed a spacecraft that would sit between the Earth and the Sun, constantly sending back live images our blue sphere.

‘Wouldn’t it be nice,’ Gore asked in 1998, ‘to have that image continuous, live, 24 hours a day?'”

And so a mission was proposed to send a probe to a spot a million miles from Earth — a place known as the L1 Lagrange point, where the gravity of the Earth and the sun cancel each other out. The space probe, originally dubbed Triana, would point a telescope with a color camera back at our planet from L1, and send images down to Earth. At the very least, it’s a cool view. At best we would inspire the next generation to see Earth in its fragility and help us to tend to it future. Today, NASA announced that this view will be available every day on a new website dedicated to publishing these images. It took nearly 20 years to make this happen, but now the idea born by Al Gore is alive.

The prime science goal of this Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR), is to “maintain the nation’s real-time solar wind monitoring capabilities, which are critical to the accuracy and lead time of space weather alerts and forecasts from NOAA.” This makes it a vital early warning of pending solar storms. But the Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) was included as part of the package, and these data may steal the show.

Each daily sequence of images will reveal the whole globe over the course of a day. Image sequences from all previous days will also be archived on the site and can be searched by date and continent.

The new age of seeing ourselves as we really are has begun.

 

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12 comments on “Smile, you’re on camera @profmcateer @algore #DSCOVR

  1. Interesting article to read, I think the concept of watching ourselves via a satellite is a crazy idea to think about. Will we do this with other planets, the world may never know.

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  2. hmmm very interesting…great for informational purposes, but seems a bit conceded to be the only planet watching itself 😉

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  3. This is great, it shows the world the world a better perspective of it self within the universe. I’m excited to see some streams of video from this probe, who knows maybe we will see visitors.

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  4. This is really cool that now we get to see images of Earth all the time. We can see what changes and what things stay the same.

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  5. I think that is amazing that we will now be able to see daily images of the whole Earth! It allows us to see how it might be changing day to day.

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  6. Its insane to think about how much technology has changed in the past 60 years. Just imagine where we will be in 40 years time.

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  7. A place called L1 Lagrange point…hmm, I’m guessing this point in space would help keep the telescope in one spot while the earth rotates? Since, both gravities of the sun and earth are canceling each other out….? Anyhow, I think this is a awesome idea and website as well but, I wish they would improve on this concept even more sometime in the near future. Perhaps, they could integrate a 4K high definition live video streaming that would be even more awesome. In the mean time, let us just appreciate how Al Gore advocated for this marvelous idea. Thanks AL ;^}

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  8. This entire concept is pretty vital. Sure we can have as many scientists that study the skies that we want right now, but space’s time is basically endless. We as a society have to make sure that we can endure the same curiosity that we have right now to want to see what is beyond our planet. This kind of imaging will do just that. This is great!

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  9. I think this is an awesome idea. We will be able to see how the world slowly changes, sadly from the damages being done by humans.. but hopefully this will make people want to take care of the planet we live on.

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  10. This was a very interesting article. I can understand why this practice would be implemented. This does seem like an efficient way for solar storms to be foreseen.

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  11. Maybe deep into the future, there would actually be live images or a live video stream of our planet and it would make this even more interesting.

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