Satellite takes most detailed Earth photo

May 15, 2012 at 8:09 PM

MOSCOW, May 15 (UPI) -- A Russian weather satellite has taken the highest-resolution photograph ever captured of Earth in its entirety, astronomers say.

The Elektro-L is orbiting Earth on a geostationary orbit more than 22,000 miles above the equator, sending photographs of the entire planet every 30 minutes, Gizmodo.com reported.

The images combine multiple light wavelengths, both visible and infrared.

"The images posted ... are a combination of visible and near-infrared wavelengths, so they show the Earth in a way not visible to human eyes," Robert Simmon, a scientist at the NASA Earth Observatory at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., said.

The highest resolution image of our home planet consists of 121 megapixels, a resolution of 0.62 miles per pixel, Gizmodo reported.

The Elektro-L is similar to NASA's GOES satellites, but Elektro-L uses three bands in reflected light -- red and two near infrared bands -- while GOES does not scan in near-infrared.

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