In the West, very surprised that the pictures of the Earth made the Russian satellite, superior in quality and beauty of the photographs taken by the American space agency NASA. "They clearly show the different colors of the earth's surface, depending on the terrain and clearly show the contours of the mountains and at the same time extremely beautiful and mind. They are unique and very different from the images of our planet, resulting from the different satellite missions NASA in recent years" — the British newspaper The Daily Mail.
Probably, the reason for this advantage in another method for processing incoming satellite visual information. Satellite "Electro-L" sends captured images to Earth every 30 minutes, but can do it in three times more often. Although the pictures taken Russian satellite, look more detailed than the production NASA, Americans disagree.
For example, Dr. Robert Simmon of the Earth Observatory said that the Russian pictures but not better nor worse than the U.S.. They are, according to Dr. Simmons, are a combination of visible and near-infrared light waves, so that they show the Earth in the unnatural form in which the person with the Earth's orbit would not be able to see it.
For example, flowering plants there is shown in red. The satellite carries pictures in three bands of the reflected light, one of which — the red and the other two — close to the infrared. The system can also be prepare images in standard red, green and blue bands.
On the other hand, weather satellites, GOES, running NASA, do not use the near-infrared range, as a result of receiving the image, similar to those seen by the human eye.
Earth is not a sphere, and "potato" — blame gravity
Another example of an unusual image of the Earth is presented recently by scientists from the German Geodetic Research Institute (DGFI), which mapped the distribution of Earth's gravity on the surface of the planet. This map shows the yellow areas with the strongest attraction, and the weakest — in blue. As a result of the uneven pull of the earth in its shape resembles a potato. Authors admitted that about 10,000 times increased proportion — for clarity, explains the BBC.
The data obtained by satellite Goce (Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explorer), flying at extremely low altitude orbit at 254.9 kilometers. It keeps track of the smallest rugged topography, ensuring the accuracy of which can not be imagined even 10 years ago.
One of its main tasks is to establish common to the whole of the Earth points of reference in sea level, which is now different for each country. This disadvantage can lead to serious problems: for example, the builders of the tunnel under the English Channel were unpleasantly surprised when it turned out that the data on the back of his proleganiya differ between the British and the French on two feet. The European Space Agency hopes that the funding of the satellite will continue until at least 2014.