Posted at 11:02 AM ET, 01/26/2012

Blue Marble: planet Earth in high resolution (photo)

NASA released a new image of Earth that it said is the most high-definition image of our planet ever taken. It’s based on the famous “Blue Marble” image of Earth shot in 1972, which captured Earth from Apollo 17.

The “Blue Marble 2012” was taken by the Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) aboard NASA's newest Earth-observing satellite, Suomi NPP. The composite image combines four passes of the satellite over the planet, which are then digitized to look like a single photo taken from about 1,200 miles above the point at 20 degrees north and 100 degrees west.

The 1972 photo was the first time a space crew could capture an image the South Pole. It shows the coast of Africa and the Arabian peninsula.

Carl Sagan’s famous pale blue dot speech referred to a different image of Earth, from much farther away, but I can’t help recall it when I see this blue marble. So without further ado, watch the video here:

By  |  11:02 AM ET, 01/26/2012

Tags:  World, Blue Marble, Earth

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