NASA's Landsat satellites have been snapping pictures of the Earth from orbit since 1972. The most recent iteration of the project, the Landsat Data Continuity Mission, arrived at its orbital resting place on April 12, and shot this series of 56 images shortly thereafter. NASA stitched the pictures together into one long strip, which you can tour in the video above.
As always, satellite images testify to the wonder of the biosphere. This particular set of pictures, though, is a simple meditation on the diversity of conditions on Earth, and the mark that humanity has left on the planet.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to email@example.com.