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Highest-resolution Earth photo looks familiar for a reason


Last month, Gizmodo posted an incredible image from NASA: The most accurate, highest-resolution photo of Earth taken to date. It's stunning, in all of its 2048 x 2048 pixel glory. In fact, there are two images: One showing the Americas and one showing Europe. Both make a great desktop image.

They're also oddly familiar, and now Gizmodo confirms what many suspected: It's the same Earth image that's welcomed new users to the iPhone since its launch in 2007.

NASA noted that the image has been public since 2002, and is the results of many months of work. "Using a collection of satellite-based observations," NASA shares on their Flickr page, "scientists and visualizers stitched together months of observations of the land surface, oceans, sea ice, and clouds into a seamless, true-color mosaic of every square kilometer (.386 square mile) of our planet."

The image recently started generating a lot of traffic on the web as Apple fanboys realized the connection. Now, the next time you see that image on your iPhone, say thank you to the hard-working NASA employees who put it together.

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