A NASA camera on the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite has returned its first view of the entire sunlit side of Earth from one million miles away and it looks a lot better than you might think (a million miles is a long way).

“This first DSCOVR image of our planet demonstrates the unique and important benefits of Earth observation from space. As a former astronaut who’s been privileged to view the Earth from orbit, I want everyone to be able to see and appreciate our planet as an integrated, interacting system. DSCOVR’s observations of Earth, as well as its measurements and early warnings of space weather events caused by the sun, will help every person to monitor the ever-changing Earth, and to understand how our planet fits into its neighborhood in the solar system.” -NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden. 

If you read our detailed article regarding how NASA imaging scientists create public-ready images from satellites, the way they created this photo should be no surprise: The color images of Earth from NASA’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) are generated by combining three separate images to create a photographic-quality image. The camera takes a series of 10 images using different narrowband filters — from ultraviolet to near infrared.

Earth from 1 Million Miles Away

Space is so awesome.

[Via NASA]