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Eastern hemisphere photo of Earth from spaceThe iPhone 4S takes great pictures, but nothing like this spectacular high-hes image of Earth. NASA Goddard oceanographer Norman Kuring gathered images from six different orbits of the satellite over an eight hour period last month. He stitched the six photos together to create the final masterpiece. I suspect it will be famous. The images were taken by a new instrument aboard the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) Earth observing research satellite called the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS). It collects and distributes remotely-sensed land, ocean, and atmospheric data to the meteorological and global climate change communities. Among the data collected are atmospheric and sea surface temperatures, humidity sounding, land and ocean biological productivity, and cloud and aerosol properties.  As for those four vertical lines: that’s the reflection of sunlight off the ocean, or “glint”, that VIIRS captured as it orbited the globe. See Spectacular High-Res Image of Earth: The Other Side | Wired Science | Wired.com for the full story.