Instrument Confirms an EPIC View of Earth

The Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) has returned its first image of this planet. It’s one of the rare whole-Earth pictures taken from a spacecraft, but EPIC will make that rarity now commonplace.

Previously, real-time Earth images are patched together from various satellites. With the whole-disk image—one that shows the entire face of the planet in one shot— scientists have a broad view of the planet’s atmosphere at work, and that view will be transmitted to us every few hours. Using EPIC, scientists can monitor clouds and atmospheric particles moving across hemispheres, which will improve models for storms, droughts, dust, pollution and global climate. EPIC also measures and tracks ozone amounts, aerosol particulates, cloud height, vegetation properties and ultraviolet radiation.

NASA Earth

Image: NASA

EPIC is a NASA-supplied instrument installed on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) DSCOVR spacecraft, which is now orbiting approximately 1 million miles away at a fixed location between the Earth and sun. It’s one of many instruments for NASA and NOAA science and operational missions built by the Lockheed Martin Space Systems Advanced Technology Center in Palo Alto, California. 

Learn more about EPIC.

July 20, 2015