Blue Marble: without Clouds

Blue Marble: without Clouds thumbnail


The Blue Marble is an incredibly detailed, true-color depiction of the Earth. NASA is responsible for this dataset made from a compilation of satellite images throughout 2001. Most of the information came from NASA's MODIS, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, which is attached to the Terra satellite 435 miles above Earth. The background image of the land and oceans was created using data from June through September of 2001. This could not be done in a single day or even a week because on any given day clouds are blocking a significant portion of the surface.

The shading is true color with the oceans shades of blue, the lands varying from green to brown. The brown areas are the sands of the deserts. The shading of the land was done using a dataset compiled by the U.S. Geological Survey's Earth Resources Observation and Science Data Center.

Earth with Vegetation shows the Earth without cloud cover so that the vegetation can be clearly seen. It is a mosaic image therefore it doesn't represent any particular season.

Notable Features

  • Vastness of the Sahara Desert
  • Shading done in true color: gives Earth's appearance from space

Related Datasets