"Our loyalties are to the species and the planet. We speak for Earth. Our obligation to survive and flourish is owed not just to ourselves, but also to that Cosmos, ancient and vast, from which we spring." - Carl Sagan
Earth as seen from space during autumnal equinox
Here’s a fantastic view of our home planet taken by the Russian weather satellite Electro-L. And while Elektro-L can take gigantic photographs of the entire planet every 30 minutes, it only can get a fully-lit view like this just twice a year — at the spring and autumn equinoxes. This image was taken during the autumnal equinox on September 22, 2013.
Elektro-L orbits Earth in a geostationary orbit 36,000 kilometers above the equator, and with the Sun exactly behind the satellite on the equinox — the day the north and south poles get the same amount of light — the entire disk is fully lit.
You can see the typhoon Usagi raging over Southeast Asia, clouds and rain over Russia and swirling clouds in the ocean near Antarctica.
Below is an animated gif of the view, going from day to night:
Image credits: Roscosmos / NTSOMZ / SRC “Planeta” / zelenyikot.livejournal.com