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Visualized: 121-megapixel satellite photos show Earth in glorious, psychedelic detail (video)


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We're starting to think the Russians have an inside track on high-resolution space photos. When Nokia's 41-megapixel photo of Earth's horizon was just a twinkle in the 808 PureView designers' eyes, the Russian Federal Space Agency had long since finished taking 121-megapixel photos of the whole planet that we're just now seeing in earnest. Unlike NASA photos, which are usually composites of multiple shots, the Elektro-L weather satellite's images display the entire planet in one ridiculously detailed take from 22,369 miles away. Why the trippy colors? Instead of just displaying Earth as-is -- real colors are so passé, dahling -- the satellite layers on near-infrared imagery that paints vegetation in wide swaths of rust-like orange.

You can get a peep of what a day-night cycle looks like for Elektro-L in the video below, and hop over to the sources to get an inkling of just how insanely detailed the images can be. You can also be slightly jealous of the satellite's network connection: at a minimum 2.6Mbps and maximum 16.4Mbps for bandwidth, odds are that it has faster broadband than you do.

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