This spectacular satellite image of Africa is part of a much larger image of our 'blue marble' that is the
most detailed true-color image of the entire Earth to date. Using a collection of satellite-based
observations, scientists and visualizers stitched together months of observations of the land surface and
oceans into a seamless, true-color mosaic of every square kilometer of our planet. Much of the information
contained in this image came from a single remote-sensing device, MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging
Spectroradiometer). Flying over 700 km above the Earth onboard the Terra satellite, MODIS provides an
integrated tool for observing a variety of terrestrial, oceanic, and atmospheric features of the Earth. The
land and coastal ocean portions of this image are based on surface observations collected from June through
September 2001 and combined, or composited, every eight days to compensate for clouds that might block the
sensor's view of the surface on any single day.
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