TECH

Nasa Unveils Dramatic 'Green Marble' Picture Of Earth

21/06/2013 14:37 BST | Updated 21/08/2013 10:12 BST

Nasa has already shown us the Earth as a Blue Marble, and a Black Marble.

Oh, and a small marble.

So what's next? The Green Marble.

green marble

A beautiful new picture of Earth has revealed in new detail just how much of the Earth is covered by vegetation - and how that's starting to change.

The space agency used the VIIRS sensor on NASA/NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite to collect data for about a year between April 2012 and 2013.

The result is an image which shows how much of the Sun's energy is absorbed by planet life - and how much is reflected back up at us - and which is about eight times as accurate as the previous best survey.

About 25% of the Earth is a "dynamic green", according to the survey - though it admits our planet is "ever-changing" and is not quite as stable as we like to think.

The darkest green areas are the lushest while the pale areas are covered by less dense vegetation, deserts, cities or other areas.

The total amount of data used in the survey would fit on more than 40 Blu-ray Discs - about two terabytes.