SCIENCE

Dramatic Photo Of Earth Is Probe's First To Show Entire Sunlit Side Of Planet

Dramatic photos of Earth from space are nothing new, but few are as dramatic as this. NASA's Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite has captured its first photo to show the entire sunlit side of the Earth.

The space agency called the eye-popping image "EPIC" -- a play on the abbreviation for DSCOVR's Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera

Taken on July 6, 2015, the image is a mash-up of three separate images taken from a distance of 1 million miles. The scattering of sunlight by air molecules gives the image a bluish cast, but scientists are working to remove this in subsequent renderings.

NASA plans to begin publishing a daily series of photos of the Earth, all taken by EPIC, by September 2015.

The DSCOVR spacecraft represents a partnership between NASA, the U.S. Air Force, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It was launched Feb. 11, 2015.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article stated incorrectly that the new image was the first to show the full sunlit side of the Earth. It's the first such photo taken by the DSCOVR satellite.