Beautiful Science

The earth looks stunning from 36,000km away in this photo, a composite of a pair of images.

The original image was captured by the Himawari-8, a geostationary Japanese weather satellite which sits above the Pacific.

Once it was developed by the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere, the photo shows what earth looks like in true colour (left half of image) and geocolour. Images captured in geocolour allow features such as dust, smoke and volcanic ash to be differentiated from clouds.

Snow appears white, while ice clouds are shades of grey and water clouds look red or pink. Moonlit night-time terrains appear purple, while city lights are yellow.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 30, 2016, with the headline 'Beautiful Science'. Print Edition | Subscribe