Clouds swirl across the Pacific Ocean in this time lapse. The data is from Himawari-8, a Japanese weather satellite in geostationary orbit over New Guinea. Every 10 minutes, it photographs the hemisphere below it. This animation is a loop of yesterday’s images. Strong winds head from East Asia, in the upper left, toward Alaska, hidden by clouds in the upper right. Australia is in the bottom center, with the edge of the Antarctic ice sheet below it and tropic storm Ula to its right. The reflection of the sun on smooth water, called sunglint, moves east to west across the Pacific just south of the Equator. At this time of year – the Southern Hemisphere’s summer – the North Pole is never sunlit, but the South Pole always is.
Always wanted to be an astronaut, but never quite made it to space?
A new site can at least make you feel like you went.
Glittering Blue is a beautiful, simple website that shows 24 hours of observations of Earth from the Japanese weather satellite Himawari-8 like you’ve never seen before.
It’s in stunning high-definition and gives a glimpse at what you might see if you were stationed 22,300 miles above the equator.
The 12-second clip is a time-lapse of one section of the globe, constructed from a number of photos taken by the Japanese Himawari 8 satellite over a 24-hour period.
It shows the Earth as the sun rises over the western Pacific , travels past Australia (somewhere about here) and eventually sets on the other side.
The clip also shows a Category 5 typhoon captured in pictures that day -- August 3, 2015 -- called Typhoon Soudelor.
Sit back, relax, and watch from above : glittering.blue
Built by Charlie Loyd, who works on satellite imagery at Mapbox, the process used to create the beautiful animation is open source.
Loyd says that “Himawari-8 has the best sensor of its kind in space today” and that it’s how Earth “really looks” over 24 hours… except sped up.