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NASA to shut both eyes of DSCOVR viewing earth

NASA will shut both cameras of DSCOVR that faces Earth. Deep Space Climate Observatory or DSCOVR is an American satellite that sits at unique location called Lagrange point 1. The point is neutral point in space, allowing DSCOVR to essentially hover between the sun and Earth at all times. The distance between earth and DSCOVR is about 1.5 million km. This distance makes it the only satellite that can capture entire Earth in one frame. In fact its first photo of Earth taken on July 6, 2015 immediately after its launch was reminiscent of the famous Blue Marble image taken by the Apollo 17 crew on December 7, 1972. DSCOVR has three cameras. One facing sun and another two faces earth.

Now, NASA has decided that only the camera facing sun will be active giving early warning of solar weather events.

But drastic budget cuts for NASA’s Earth Science program mean DSCOVR’s two earth observation tools known as NISTAR and EPIC will be shut off. This is despite it being the second cheapest ongoing earth sciences program. NISTAR and EPIC were intended to monitor changes in Earth’s climate and weather patterns.

One camera takes images across 10 different levels of the visual spectrum while the other camera takes radiometer…
to measure radiation on earth.

Last year EPIC captured a unique view of the moon as it moved in front of the sunlight side of Earth.