Thursday, January 26, 2012

I call bullshit on this photograph at Huffpo

On Huffington Post there is a story about a  recent picture of Planet Earth provided by NASA taken from a satellite.   Blue Marble 2012: NASA Releases High Definition Image Of Earth (PHOTO)  I don't consider this image to be an actual photo.   That word refers to a captured image of visible light unless otherwise specified,  particularly when the image is being compared to an actual photo, in this case the one taken by the crew of Apollo 17 in 1972.   This is not what North America actually looks like to the human eye.  I'm not sure what data was used and what the brown regions represent but I seriously doubt it wasn't visible light.  Fer crying out loud, the entire continent of North America looks like the Gobi desert in this (PHOTO). ha.  Oooga Booga!

The space agency this week announced that the satellite, which was formerly known as the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System Preparatory Project, would be renamed to honor Verner E. Suomi. Suomi was a University of Wisconsin meteorologist who NASA calls "the father of satellite meteorology."


For reference, here is what that picture of Earth from space looks like at the  NASA website...

What the Fudge?  Is that the point in all of this to get people to think the USA has become a giant dustbowl without actually tellin them.  Just show a giant brown continent with the word (PHOTO) instead.

I think this was lame.  There should have been some explanation that the Suomi satellite image was not a photo in the traditional sense.  The purpose of the Suomi satellite is predicting weather not taking pictures for postcards.  Here is mission:  
The Visible-Infrared Spin-Scan Radiometric Atmospheric Sounder (VAS) was a modification of the original spin-scan design with additional detectors for the proper spectral bands. By observing temperature and moisture structures, Suomi hoped to improve the prediction of severe weather.
So it is a useful image for, but not this story. Unless you are trying to mislead people about climate change.  I say there is enough real data for that case, and no need to use these kind of tactics.

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