Animation shows Earth's heartbeat

STAFF REPORTER

A scientist has stitched together NASA satellite images to create an effect that makes the Earth look as if it is breathing.

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US programmer John Nelson has given the the iconic ‘blue marble’ view of the Earth a dramatic new twist, reports the Daily Mail.

Mr Nelson, a programmer for IDV Solutions, combined the images provided by Nasa as part of its ‘Blue Marble Next Generation’ project, which took a picture of the Earth each month.

"I didn't expect to be so mesmerised by them," Mr Nelson said.

The composite of four months of satellite observations with a spatial resolution of 1sq km per pixel, according to the Daily Mail.

Mr Nelson told the Mail the idea for the site came following a chat with a colleague about design options for presenting satellite data.

"When we went to NASA's Visible Earth website to access some of their tremendous source data imagery, that they make freely available, I noted that there were images representing Earth at each month of the year," he said.

"I was curious if stitching them together in time into an animation would show and interesting seasonal pattern and so I went to work.

"I downloaded the twelve cloud-free satellite imagery mosaics of Earth at each month of the year. I wrapped them into some fun projections then stitched them together into a couple animated gifs.

"Because much of the dramatic change throughout the year occurs in the northern latitudes, I chose a polar projection to focus on this area.

"Overall, to me it looks like breathing.

"When I stitch together what can be an impersonal snapshot of an entire planet, all of the sudden I see a thing with a heartbeat."

(Via John Nelson/IDV Solutions)