One planet, 36,422 selfies: NASA mosaic presents a spectacular view of life on Earth

Explore the world's first "global selfie"

Topics: NASA, selfies, Earth, satellite, , ,

One planet, 36,422 selfies: NASA mosaic presents a spectacular view of life on Earth (Credit: NASA)

This, via NASA’s Suomi NPP satellite, is what our planet looked like on Earth Day:

And this is what it would have looked like had it been composed entirely of selfies:

Combing through the more than 50,000 photos submitted by Earth-dwellers last month, NASA created this “global selfie,” a 3.2 gigapixel mosaic made from 32,000 individual photographs. According to NASA, it captures “people on every continent and 113 countries and regions, from Antarctica to Yemen, Greenland to Guatemala, and Pakistan to Peru.”

Zoom in, and they all come into focus:

And closer still:

There are some weridos lurking around, too:



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The mosaic was released as a reminder that NASA, while known for space exploration, is keeping a close eye on Earth: it currently has 17 satellites orbiting the planet, and plans to launch five more by the end of 2014.

You can use GigaPan to scroll through the photos — and to see if you recognize anybody you know.

Lindsay Abrams

Lindsay Abrams is a staff writer at Salon, reporting on all things sustainable. Follow her on Twitter @readingirl, email labrams@salon.com.

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