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NASA time-lapse shows a year on Earth from a million miles away

Earlier this week, we shared the mesmerizing time lapse of NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory performing its biannual 360 flip to analyze the outer edge of the sun. Now, we have another video for you, but this time, the camera is pointed back at us here on Earth.

In honor of the one-year anniversary of NASA’s EPIC camera module on board NOAA’s DSCOVR spacecraft capturing Earth from space, NASA constructed an incredible time-lapse showing what a year on Earth looks like from a million miles away.

Launched in February 2015, EPIC’s main mission is to monitor Earth’s atmosphere for any anomalies in ozone or aerosol levels. But its usefulness goes far beyond that, providing incredible images for NASA’s scientists to share with the world.

The location of choice for capturing the image is known as Lagrange point 1, a precise location approximately a million miles away from the surface of the Earth, where spacecraft can stay balanced between the gravity of both Earth and the Sun.

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Each one of the more than 3,000 images used to create the time lapse were captured in 10 different wavelengths every two hours apart between August 2015 and July 2016. In the video, our blue marble becomes a Petri dish of natural phenomenon, as the clouds swirl and the landmasses we call continents change from season to season.

As mentioned in the video, the visuals we see aren’t actual photographs, but renderings of what scientists believe Earth would look like to the human eye, using all of the available information captured from the multiple exposures.

An interesting piece of trivia worth noting is that the DSCOVR spacecraft was launched as part of the payload on board the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket sent into space in December 2012.