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NASA Unveils Selfie of Earth Created With Tens of Thousands of Individual Pictures

A low-resolution preview of the 3.2-billion-pixel sized NASA Earth Day Global Selfie 2014 photo mosaic.
A low-resolution preview of the 3.2-billion-pixel sized NASA Earth Day Global Selfie 2014 photo mosaic. Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech/NOAA

Say “cheese!” NASA has unveiled a global selfie, a stunning mosaic of the planet Earth seen from outer space that was stitched together from tens of thousands of self-portraits taken by people from around the world.

The Earth images were created with more than 36,000 selfies that were submitted to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory  this year on Earth Day, by people from 131 nations or regions. In the mosaic, self-portraits with blue backgrounds illustrate oceans, those with white backgrounds illustrate clouds, and photos with brown backgrounds illustrate continents. (See also: “All By My Selfie: National Geographic Photographers Muse on the Word of the Year.”)

See for yourself—folks who want to take a closer look at the result can zoom into the 3.2 gigapixel Global Selfie:

 

We were overwhelmed to see people participate from so many countries,” says NASA’s Peg Luce, in a statement. “We’re very grateful that people took the time to celebrate our home planet together, and we look forward to everyone doing their part to be good stewards of our precious Earth.” (See also: “Global ‘Selfie’ to Be Beamed to Outer Space.”)

Comments

  1. anjuly sharma
    New Delhi,India
    July 12, 12:03 am

    Awwsome!! Innovative!! Stunning!!

  2. anjuly sharma
    New Delhi,India
    July 12, 12:01 am

    Beautiful !! Awwsome !! Innovative !!

  3. natalia l.
    united states
    July 9, 5:48 pm

    i thought that was actual earth haha! i should really read titles more often :P

  4. Grant
    California
    July 7, 5:34 pm

    It’s a really good PR considering NASA is strapped for cash. I just wish they would have been a little more public about it, still really cool though.

  5. greg
    earth
    July 4, 9:18 pm

    hovering cursor shouldn’t move image; only drag should

  6. Ellen
    United States Florida
    June 17, 5:09 am

    These pictures are absolutely stunning. I would have participated had I known this was going to take place. It really is a shame that people would complain about something so beautiful. What a wonderful world we live in. Grow up and complain about something worthwhile. These people would probably rant about world peace. Learn to appreciate the simple things in life, you might surprise yourselves!

  7. Arafath Sarker Shetu
    Bangladesh
    June 15, 8:08 am

    আমিও তো বিশ্ব নাগরিক,আমার ফটো কই এইখানে ! ;) !

  8. mehadi hassan
    bangladesh
    June 15, 3:05 am

    it is a nice system

  9. A.R. Aphiphi
    Bangladesh
    June 15, 2:03 am

    It’s really a big mission for us. I wishing the NASA to increase people digit. Thank’s to NASA.

  10. nksn
    Puerto Rico
    June 12, 10:30 am

    Truly beautiful image, people need to understand the big picture of this image and not critize the small things like “shouldn’t nasa be doing something else” you do realize their mission and budget has been cut right?

  11. jersy
    indonesia
    June 10, 3:00 am

    where is indonesia?
    404 not found

  12. Gen
    California
    June 9, 7:01 am

    We all learned here that the mass of people complaining cannot read. As Jade pointed out, “Look at all the white people in Africa!!

    Completely misrepresentative. Most of the world has no acces to cameras or internet still, let’s. It forget that.”

    What she didn’t read was, “In the mosaic, self-portraits with blue backgrounds illustrate oceans, those with white backgrounds illustrate clouds, and photos with brown backgrounds illustrate continents.”

    What that means is they used the photos where the dominate colors worked best to create what the Earth looks like…

    And as Sandy Maclean points out, “How can people on earth take pictures of earth?The picture takers would have to be on an orbiter or another planet or our moon”

    Honey, please read: “NASA has unveiled a global selfie, a stunning mosaic of the planet Earth seen from outer space that was stitched together from tens of thousands of self-portraits taken by people from around the world.”

    I don’t think it was a waste of resources. I think it’s pretty amazing what can be done with 36,000 pictures of people from around the world, no matter where they are from. As khaluf pointed out, “from outside looks like one unity and there is no division”. How the world SHOULD be. Not a waste when you’re getting across the idea that there should be no division among people but rather unity.

  13. sneal
    Mumbai
    June 9, 5:47 am

    I wonder how this has been done !

  14. Sonya
    Bta
    June 8, 4:55 pm

    Bellísimo!

  15. Monique
    June 8, 2:28 pm

    The zoom is not big enough. What do they keep me busy with.

  16. Bob martin
    June 7, 5:00 pm

    I found myself

  17. Past Reflections
    US
    June 7, 11:28 am

    Hover pointer over picture and roll your scroll wheel. Pic should zoom incrementally larger as you do. Eventually you should begin to see the photos of people’s faces (their ‘selfies’) that have been shrunk to pixel size to create the overall image. I do find it a bit interesting, as it reminds me of the Cross necklaces I used to see that had a little glass ‘diamond’ in the middle. When you looked up close into the ‘diamond’ you could see the Lord’s Prayer inside it (in microprint no doubt, which was rather fascinating considering it was in the late 1960′s).

  18. Hung hoang
    Stockton, California
    June 7, 2:57 am

    I salute the incredible idea and incredible work of incredible artists !

  19. Lida del Monte
    The Hague
    June 7, 2:06 am

    Fantastic!

  20. Simon rep of Engineers Without Borders
    Melbourne, Victoria
    June 6, 10:33 pm

    This is amazing, and honestly should be used to show the changes in earths properties over time.
    I will follow this development with interest.
    It is beautiful and lets work to keep it that way.

  21. Greg
    MD
    June 6, 2:18 pm

    Fractograf does a better job with this type of photosharing

  22. Lewis
    India
    June 6, 10:53 am

    Amazing. Truly amazing!

  23. Mary
    June 6, 10:52 am

    Artistic celebration of our only home on Earth Day — a participative experience that itself is unifying — integrating art and science and societies — I’m glad most respondents are enjoying this. Let’s treat each other and our planet better!

  24. Yolanda
    June 6, 9:46 am

    Teh best selfie I’ve ever seen, Gorgeous!

  25. Syed Arbab Ahmed
    Karachi, Pakistan
    June 6, 8:33 am

    Ohhh…..I did not know this otherwise I could have sent my selfie as well, but a good effort

  26. Jacquellyn Hamalian
    Sarasota, FL
    June 6, 8:21 am

    Actually this technology is a science, even if it’s not one traditionally known for NASA, and it’s excellent PR that is relatively inexpensive for their budget. I think it’s a great way to show kids, who are constantly taking “selfies” and posting them to their friends. I wish I had seen the piece to send in a pic. My 14 yr old daughter and her friends, or even her science or technology class would have had a blast with this. Even still, she will enjoy this since she is already an astronomy buff.

    Phoenix, I agree photograph is a word that should have been used more often, but unfortunately the word “selfie” in this case is appropriate because that has become the popular word for social media, whom the target audience was for with trying to expand publicity. I think if it had been better advertised their would be even more photographs. In any case, I will still be sharing this with my daughter and her friends.

    Good job NASA and NG!

  27. Ken Minor
    North Port, FL 34286
    June 6, 7:40 am

    As a child, I had a surrounding aura of flying in space. One day, some limited Earthling told me it wasn’t so. How devastating! My life was changed then–and has stayed Earth-bound since (I am now 75 years old). I regret to report that news. However, I still believe that people,at some point in human existence, shall fly–without spaceships. A beginning has already occurred, for which I am thrilled and revitalized. Keep it going! Make my Earthling Dream come true–for everyone!!!!! Ken P.S. I’ll be reading, listening, and watching until I spiritually fly, myself. The best to your Earthly flying years in the future!!! Ken

  28. Observer
    Pakistan
    June 6, 5:57 am

    How beautiful ! Looking from that perspective, the observer warns: “Just watch this planet from here and don’t try to enter it. The race there – the human race – is at its best to destroy it by all means. You will find there only killing and extinction. The environment has been made unliveable.”

  29. Aman Bhutani
    Gurgaon
    June 6, 3:27 am

    Will Ferrel in the middle of India holding a SAN DIEGO location tag wasn’t blunder enough, more than 90% of India comprising of hardly any INDIANS… Nice concept but definitely misinterpreted. Well pointed out, Jim :)

  30. etienne
    south africa
    June 6, 2:55 am

    Jade, How did you get to see Africa ?

  31. Rita
    Colorado
    June 6, 1:01 am

    What a beautiful way to show that our world is composed of a world of individuals. Perhaps, we can all work together in other ways to care for each other and our world.

  32. ali
    iran
    June 5, 11:58 pm

    Great.;)

  33. Larry Todd
    United States
    June 5, 11:32 pm

    Would it not have been nice to have had this technology back when we launched Voyager. We could have included it on the gold disc that is attached to it.

  34. Anand Thaker
    San Francisco, CA
    June 5, 11:10 pm

    Now that the liberals are in power, NASA’s goals are less about space exploration (Mr. Obama seems to have canceled the plans for further space exploration) and more about diversity and outreach to the Muslim world (a priority given by Obama to their director who is an affirmative action hire himself).

    Liberals who got goosebumps from the United Colors of Bennetton ads with people of different colors holding hands are probably giddy after clicking this link.

  35. Eunice Ferrante
    Brasil
    June 5, 5:17 pm

    Nice “Selfie” … Beautiful picture! Congratulations!

  36. Jade
    June 5, 5:04 pm

    Look at all the white people in Africa!!

    Completely misrepresentative. Most of the world has no acces to cameras or internet still, let’s. It forget that.

  37. Jim
    United States
    June 5, 4:30 pm

    LOL – Will Farrell is right in the middle of India!

  38. J. David Tholl
    Needham, MA, USA
    June 5, 4:26 pm

    Quite a range of reactions, from “Golly, Mr. Wizard!” to blank stares from those too lazy or unimaginative to test the possi-
    ble reasons for calling the exercise a “selfie”. What an irritat-
    ly self-aborbed term, “selfie”!

  39. Dennis Mendoza
    Alviso, ca, Us
    June 5, 3:54 pm

    Very cool :)

  40. tarheel
    NC
    June 5, 3:32 pm

    What an incredible waste of resources!

  41. Mike
    Davenport, Iowa
    June 5, 2:53 pm

    This is very cool! It is so nice to see NASA reaching out to our children using language they can relate to. When they see the word selfie they will have to take a look. Once we get them interested, heaven only knows where it will go from there. I applaud NASA National Geographic.

  42. Libby
    MN
    June 5, 2:50 pm

    The artical says “See for yourself…” but I can’t figure out how. Do I use GigaCam to zoom in to view the details in this photo? I haven’t been able to open this photo on GigaCam. Actually, I haven’t been able to find this photo on GigaCam. Help?

  43. Stan
    Hawai'i
    June 5, 2:43 pm

    Me, too…Less “cute”, and more “space”, please, NASA. Although if funding keeps dropping, maybe the PR is the only way to get anything done?

  44. DaddyMac
    June 2, 5:38 pm

    To those who don’t get the selfie reference (or read the article), zoom in. This is actually a photo-mosaic using many selfies contributed from people around the world to create an image of the earth.

    Pretty cool idea, but I do find it odd that this came from NASA. Their budget is already tight enough. Shouldn’t they be focusing their limited resources on science, their primary mission? That said, it is good PR, and probably didn’t cost too much.

  45. khalil
    algeria
    May 31, 3:33 am

    this is a great idea

  46. david
    chile
    May 30, 9:46 am

    Y el avion malasio ?

  47. Aaron Zepplin
    Central Wisconsin
    May 29, 5:14 pm

    Dislike. Just the word “selfie” makes my skin crawl. I would hope NASA has better things in the cooker than this.

  48. Melissa
    Los Angeles CA
    May 28, 10:21 pm

    Awesome!!!!

  49. Sandy Maclean
    Inverness n.s. Canada
    May 28, 5:09 pm

    How can people on earth take pictures of earth?The picture takers would have to be on an orbiter or another planet or our moon

  50. Cameron
    Ohio
    May 28, 4:44 pm

    Very nice but shouldn’t NASA be focusing on more important things?

  51. Víctor López
    pacoima Ca.
    May 28, 3:26 pm

    Es el lugar en donde como bebo y me hago más inteligente LO AMO.

  52. Hannah
    Canada
    May 28, 1:37 pm

    Wow! That is stunning.

  53. julio
    noticias
    May 28, 12:57 pm

    me gustaría conocer mas el infinito de tierra

  54. Arzoo Shaikh
    India
    May 28, 12:49 pm

    This is too good :).. awesome work!!

  55. AWESOME!!! TOTALLY AWESOME!!
    Lapeer, Michigan
    May 28, 8:54 am

    Sometimes I hate the auto spell check.
    It was supposed to be War Mongers, not mongrels.

  56. AWESOME!!! TOTALLY AWESOME!!
    Lapeer, Michigan
    May 28, 8:52 am

    Absolutely Beautiful, And what an incredible way to show our planet. I think some of those war mongrels should take a close look at this and re-think their plans for world domination.
    Great Job NASA and Nat Geo!

  57. Debdutta pal
    Kolkata
    May 28, 5:02 am

    Very nice

  58. Phoenix
    malaysia
    May 28, 2:48 am

    An artwork made of selfies from all over the world is more accurate I think,

  59. Phoenix
    Malaysia
    May 28, 2:41 am

    Why is this called a selfie? Isn’t a selfie a picture one takes of oneself? It’s strange that the word photograph is simply kicked aside. It’s a good word, you know.

  60. khaluf
    Au
    May 27, 11:56 pm

    perfect images , from outside looks like one unity and there is no division