1. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member


    Much has been made of Robert Simmon's statement about the Blue Marble image (above) that "it's photoshopped because it has to be"

    I think the misunderstand of this statement started out as trolling, but has evolved so that now some people are convinced that it means ALL images of Earth are fake.

    Simmon's is referring to the Blue Marble image from 2002, which actually isn't the image you see above, exactly, it's this:

    Plus this:

    i.e. it's an image of the entire planet's surface with no clouds and in daylight, and it's also an image of the entire planet's surface with just clouds. Combining the two together allows you to render images like the one famously used on the iPhone lock screen, and also to render 3D animations from arbitrary positions, like.

    via GIPHY

    Source: https://giphy.com/gifs/JNOaKop7aPDkTb7bxn/html5

    So of course this particular image has to be photoshopped. There are always clouds on the earth, and half the Earth is dark, and in any photo taken from space, you can only see half (or less) of the planet. To create this image you have to stitch together hundreds of daylight images from all around the globe, and just use the bits that don't have any cloud on them.

    So when Simmon said "it's photoshopped because it has to be" he was referring to this composite and edited image. He was NOT referring to all photos from space, of which there are many coming in every hour, for example, the DSCOVR satellite which sends non-photoshopped images of the daylight side of the Earth every few minutes:

    Metabunk 2019-04-15 09-59-54.

    Or the GOES-16 satellite which has a geostationary orbit, and so sees night and day:
    Metabunk 2019-04-15 10-04-18.

    And many more:
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