An Earth-seasons widget

A view of the Earth, as seen from the Sun.

Used in Days-as-dots demo.


  • Year 2004: Blue Marble monthly images, showing realistic colors (but no clouds or sea ice). You can watch the northern snow come and go.
  • Years other than 2004: A relief map. Lighter is higher.


Earth 2004 images. NASA's Earth Observatory's Blue Marble Next Generation's "Month, Blue Marble Next Generation" (no topography or bathymetry) images ( 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 ).
Earth relief map. Census of Marine Life's ref_etopo1.jpg. Used without permission.
3D: three.js


  • It isn't rotating.

Relief map:

  • False color, indicating height.
  • Oceans are ignored; glaciers are not.
  • Ice height, not bedrock. This makes a big difference on Greenland and Antarctica. Limits correctness to a few k years.

2004 monthly images:

  • No clouds. No sea ice.
  • Images are for 2004. Other years differ.
  • Average over a month.
  • No specular reflection. Despite being a Sun's eye view.

Related pages

So centuries fit on a screen. An interactive app.


Add design discussion. Including: Why a bump map?

Permit rotating Earth on axis. Altering date. Spin on mouseover.

Bogosity compensation: For 2004's "other years differ" and "average", link to nasa interactive snow cover page, so folks can see for themselves. For clouds and sea ice, link to a reference image or realtime site.

Earth relief map license: I didn't find one that was open content and minimally colored. Could nudge CoML to clarify its license. Could generate one from ETOP1. Googling turns up another with unclear permissions: Josef Pelikán's earthbw. And hopeless earthbump.

Earth relief map: Generate one to bedrock, instead of more ephemeral ice. Better red than blue, as less misconception prone? And linear in height, to avoid misconception enhancement.

Add sea ice to 2004 images.

Extend seasonal images beyond 2004. MODIS MOD10CM (monthly snow cover since 2000) and MOD29xxx (daily sea ice since ???).

Realtime synthesis of a 2004-like globe, with sea ice, and togglable clouds.

Page history

Mark it up No JS?
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