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The first complete picture of the Earth as seen from above the North Pole has been released by Nasa.

The beautiful picture, taken at a height of 512 miles, depicts the Arctic as well as Asia, Europe and Africa.

Britain can be seen enjoying clear skies - as a menacing storm brews to the south-west.

Meanwhile the snowy wastes of the Arctic circle can be seen at the heart of the picture.

It is the first complete photograph of the Earth from this vantage point.

Fifteen orbits of the recently launched Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) satellite gave it the opportunity to gather pictures for a synthesised view of Earth showing the Arctic, Europe, and Asia.

"The NPP represents a critical first step in building this next-generation satellite system," Nasa says.

"Suomi NPP orbits the Earth about 14 times each day and observe nearly the entire surface. The NPP satellite continues key data records that are critical for climate change science."