NASAGoddard has just celebrated on Twitter the fact that “Blue Marble 2012 with nearly 3.2 million views is now “one of the all time most viewed images” on @flickr http://bit.ly/xBOuD8“. That’s nice apart from the fact that it is a fake.
Even the Bad Astronomer was half-fooled initially, perhaps by the enthusiastic caption that still refers to a “hemisphere“. However, as it should be clear given the relative size of the USA to the rest of the world, the “blue marble” does not show a hemisphere, and should be considered as “a picture taken with a huge huge fish-eye lens“.
A quick trip to Google Earth shows how a real Blue Marble would have looked like, minus the clouds:
This story has however a happier ending in the newst “Blue Marble”, the one showing Africa.
I can happily report it is the way it should’ve been . See Google Earth again:
Nice to see somebody at NASA still interested in the real world.