Today the space agency unveiled what it's calling the "most amazing high definition image of Earth — Blue Marble 2012." This one was taken "from the VIIRS instrument aboard NASA's most recently launched Earth-observing satellite — Suomi NPP," NASA says, and is a "composite image [that] uses a number of swaths of the Earth's surface taken on January 4, 2012."
So how does this new composite image compare to some of the others? Check them out.
By the way, the image that NASA identifies as "Blue Marble 1972" shows Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and the Malagasy Republic. The Blue Marble image that is among the wallpaper choices on iPhones — and so has become quite well known in recent years — is a different shot, centered on North America. As iPhoneJ.D. has explained, the iPhone choice is one of the later images NASA produced, in 2002.
(H/T to NPR social media desk intern Xavier Lacombe and to Gizmodo.)