New Earth View Is The True Blue Marble

From this point, looking down the Pacific Ocean, Earth still looks like a virgin jewel in space - a precious gem untouched by toxic human hands, no sign of our species' uncontrolled greed. All water, it's the true blue marble.

Created with data captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer aboard NASA's Terra satellite, this view may not be as beautiful as the most accurate, highest resolution Earth image to date. Or as revelatory as the original Blue Marble, the photo that changed our perspective of this tiny planet, taken by the crew of Apollo 17.

But it's a beautiful image, nonetheless. One that shows how incredibly huge our oceans are, how massive their extension, how crucial to every living thing on Earth. Here are the real lungs of our home planet, powering Earth at the base of the trophic chain, regulating the climate by capturing and releasing heat, generating the vapour - only 1000th of 1 per cent of the water - that circulates in the atmosphere, transporting heat across the globe. This image - taken by the SEVIRI instrument aboard METEOSAT - shows that water vapour circulating all around:

Sure, the news of new Earths only 20 light years away may seem more exciting to some people. While we will go there in due time, we will hopefully be here for thousands of years to come. Not stuck, but lucky to be alive in such a unique, beautiful place.

You can download the ocean image at 4096 pixels from NASA's site. [NASA via NASA]