As you probably know, today is 12/12/12, the last time a date in this particular structure will have all three numbers the same until the year 2112.
On this auspicious date (or perfectly ordinary date, depending on how into numerology you are), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) GOES-15 snapped an image of Earth at 1200 UTC (7:00 a.m. ET).
Visible in the image is a system that would soon become Tropical Storm Evan, which formed over the Pacific Ocean earlier today, according to a NOAA statement. It is the swirl-like area of clouds at the bottom left of the Earth's disk. The storm is currently 145 nautical miles (233 kilometers) west of Pago Pago, the capital of American Samoa.
Another satellite, the Suomi NPP, recently got another set of stunning images of our home planet, which are being called the "Black Marble" because they are all nighttime views of the Earth. There is even a zoomable Gigapan image of the Black Marble set, where viewers can focus in on different parts of the globe and see the Earth's lights at night.
The Black Marble appellation is a play on the famous "Blue Marble" image of the Earth taken by the Apollo 17 astronauts and thought to be one of the most famous and widely distributed images of Earth ever.
- Earth Pictures: Iconic Images of Earth from Space
- Black Marble Images: Earth at Night
- Earth Quiz: Mysteries of the Blue Marble
- Science, Social Science, & Humanities
- Nature & Environment