This one is cropping up all over the internet.
But just try to get a commitment as to its origins. Photographic, or artist’s image?
I wagered the latter. Note general lack of thick clouds, angle of sunlight, etc.
Beautiful Antarctica from space. Photographic image, or artist’s rendering? Who deserves credit for the image?
Then, at Twisted Sifter (shout out to Annette Breedlove; and everyone outside my family will be mystified by that reference) I found this, the full image from NASA. Notice how some selective editing, changing the perspective, makes the image above more fascinating — while stripping out the identifying credits:
Image via Twisted Sifter; NASA image of Antarctica, available at Flickr Commons
Well, that’s a different thing, then.
Twisted Sifter’s explanation of details, excerpt:
Seen above is a view of the Earth on September 21, 2005 with the full Antarctic region visible. The composite image shows the sea ice on September 21, 2005, the date at which the sea ice was at its minimum extent in the northern hemisphere. The colour of the sea ice is derived from the AMSR-E 89 GHz brightness temperature while the extent of the sea ice was determined by the AMSR-E sea ice concentration. Over the continents, the terrain shows the average land cover for September, 2004. The global cloud cover shown was obtained from the original Blue Marble cloud data distributed in 2002. [Source]
Due to the position of Antarctica in relation to our Sun it would not look like this to the naked eye. This is a composite that shows what Antarctica looks like if the entire continent were illuminated.
Click here for the full resolution 8400×8400 pixel TIFF version (63 mb) and click here for the 8400 x 8400 px JPG version.
NASA’s details, from the Flickr file:
Global View of the Arctic and Antarctic on September 21, 2005
Collection: NASA Scientific Visualization Studio Collection
Title: Global View of the Arctic and Antarctic on September 21, 2005
Description: This image shows a view of the Earth on September 21, 2005 with the full Antarctic region visible.
Abstract: In support of International Polar Year, this matching pair of images showing a global view of the Arctic and Antarctic were generated in poster-size resolution. Both images show the sea ice on September 21, 2005, the date at which the sea ice was at its minimum extent in the northern hemisphere. The color of the sea ice is derived from the AMSR-E 89 GHz brightness temperature while the extent of the sea ice was determined by the AMSR-E sea ice concentration. Over the continents, the terrain shows the average landcover for September, 2004. (See Blue Marble Next Generation) The global cloud cover shown was obtained from the original Blue Marble cloud data distributed in 2002. (See Blue Marble:Clouds) A matching star background is provided for each view. All images include transparency, allowing them to be composited on a background.
Credit: *Please give credit for this visualization to* NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio The Blue Marble data is courtesy of Reto Stockli (NASA/GSFC).
Animator: Cindy Starr (Lead)
Scientist: Ronald Weaver (University of Colorado)
Data Collected: AMSR-E Sea Ice: 2005-09-21; Blue Marble cloud layer 2002; Blue Marble Next Generation Seasonal Landcover 2004-09
UID: SPD-SCIVS-http://svs .gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a 000000/a003400/a0034 02/NSIDCimages__SPcl ouds.2158-IMAGE
Original url: svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a000000/a003400/a003402/index.html
Visit www.nasaimages.org for the most comprehensive compilation of NASA stills, film and video, created in partnership with Internet Archive.
The image, and it’s odyssey and story, are reminders that reality is often better than the made up stuff; and it’s wise to properly attribute stuff you borrow. Is this just a cool image, or an opportunity for teachers to enrich the classroom and an argument for boosting NASA’s budget?