NASA Releases the First Ever ‘Blue Marble’ Image of the Whole North Pole — How Many Countries Can You Spot?

You may think you’re pretty familiar with what pictures of the North Pole as seen from space look like, but most likely, you’ve only seen a part of it.

For the first time, NASA has released a “Blue Marble” image of the whole Arctic region.

(Related: Check out NASA’s highest resolution image of the ‘Blue Marble’)

The first ever whole picture of the North Pole from space to this level of detail. (Photo: NASA/GSFC/Suomi NPP)

According to NASA, it took 15 orbits of the Suomi NPP satellite to collect enough images to comprise the whole North Pole to the level of detail needed. The Suomi NPP is considered NASA’s next-generation satellite that will eventually take over for the aging Earth Observing System. Suomi NPP, which is operated in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, orbits Earth 14 times each day.

The image was taken from 512 miles above the North Pole. As Mashable points out, at the highest resolution possible, the image shows arctic ice sheets, London, Great Bear Lake in Canada, but not Santa’s Workshop.

(H/T: Gizmodo)