Russian weather satellite Elektro-L is in geostationary orbit, over 22000 miles above the equator. It sends photos to Earth every thirty minutes. The image above is one of them. It combines four light wavelengths, three visible and one infrared. That is why they are so vivid. And why the orange you see in the picture is actually vegetation, being captured in infrared.
Gizmodo, who posted the picture, also spoke with Robert Simmon, a scientist at the NASA Earth Observatory”
“Elektro-L is a Russian Satellite similar to GOES (the satellites that provide the cloud image loops shown on the news every night). The images posted by Gizmodo are a combination of visible and near-infrared wavelengths, so they show the Earth in a way not visible to human eyes (vegetation looks red, for example). They’re not any better or worse than NASA images, but they show different things.”
“It’s a geostationary weather satellite orbiting above the equator at ~54˚ East. Tthe US has two similar operational geostationary satellites over the east and west coasts, EUMETSAT has one over Europe and one over the Indian Ocean, Japan has one over the far western Pacific.”
Similar high-def pictures exist from NASA, although they do not utilize the near-infrared spectrum that Elektro-L does, and appear exactly as you might see them with the naked eye.
Just for fun, here are some other views from satellites orbiting earth. This is taken from the International Space Station (ISS).
No clue where this is from, or even if its real. Enjoy.
This one is definitely fake. It was created using the open-source animation and rendering software Blender. But it’s still cool, showing the Earth flying through space.[source: Gizmodo]