The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released an updated image of the iconic "Blue Marble" photograph of the Earth.

The original "Blue Marble", from Apollo 17 (7 December 1972):

Picture: Nasa

The new "Blue Marble", from NOAA's newest satellite GOES-16 (15 January 2017)

The new photograph was taken by a satellite which was designed to take high definition photos of the US every five minutes, and the whole Earth every 15 minutes.

Director of NOAA's Satellite and Information Service Stephen Volz said in a statement:

One of our GOES-16 scientists compared this to seeing a new-born baby's first pictures — it's that exciting for us.

The new images show the Earth in even more detail than was previously available, and Volz says that the images come from the “most sophisticated technology ever flown in space to predict severe weather on Earth".

Picture: Nasa

The satellite is situated in an orbit 22,3000 miles above the Earth.

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