This image presents a remarkable view of the North Atlantic Ocean, stretching from the equator and western Africa northward to Iceland and Greenland, with sunset occurring over (north to south) Scandinavia, France, Spain, Algeria, Mali, and the Ivory Coast.
Here is an opportunity for you to play image detective. How on Earth was this image made? Is it a painting, or a map? Is it a photograph? If so, was it taken from a high-flying aircraft, or from outer space? Is it a satellite image, or possibly even something else?
... it is composed of many elements, collected by a variety of instruments, at different times and places, with several wavelengths of light (and even sound)—combined in a computer to create an "impossible" view of the Earth.
The image itself was generated by the Earth and Moon Viewer, a Web-based tool that produces Earth imagery from several perspectives. The Earth daylit and night time images were developed by The Living Earth.
reply to post by NullVoid
No single spacecraft or astronaut took this picture. It is a digital composite of archived images taken by several Earth-orbiting satellites and ocean-faring ships. Similar images can be digitally stitched together for any Earth location by John Walker's Earth and Moon Viewer website. Specifically, the daytime land images were taken by the MODIS instrument on NASA's Terra satellite, while the nighttime images were taken by the DMSP satellites. This image is different from what an astronaut would see for reasons including a complete lack of clouds and an unrealistic exaggeration of lights and contrasts. The image has become both an internet wave in that it continues to circulate as an attachment to digital correspondence, and a modern urban legend.