An image taken by a Japanese satellite launch on 7 October 2014 has snapped the true colour of planet Earth
Earth’s true colour has been revealed in amazing detail by a Japanese weather satellite.
From a distance of 22,240 miles (35,790km), the satellite shows what our planet looks like before any filters or image enhancements are made to the shot.
And the incredibly high resolution image also highlights stunning details on Earth including clouds, oceans and Australia’s vast desert.
The image was taken by Japan’s Himawari-8 weather satellite, which launched on 7 October 2014 and is said to be the first true-colour image returned by the satellite to Earth.
A huge 11,000 by 11,000 pixel version is available on the Japan Meteorological Agency’s (JMA) website, although the makes advise downloading the file, rather than view it in a browser, because the image can take a long time to load.
The satellite was placed in a geostationary orbit above Earth, which means it stays above the same portion of the planet – in this case Australia, Japan and the other regions seen.
The instrument used to take the image was the Advanced Himawari Imager (AHI) on the spacecraft.
Himawari-8 is actually one of two twin satellites that will be used to provide continuous observation of the East Asia and Western Pacific regions. The next satellite, called Himawari-9, will launch in 2016.
The use of the words ‘true colour’ is a little bit of a misnomer, as this is not exactly what the planet would look like to the human eye.
Most images we see of Earth are colour-corrected to show how humans would see them. This image, however, was taken in multiple bands and shows the natural appearance of Earth from space.