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Russia presents highest resolution image of Earth

Earth from Russian satellite.jpg

An image of the Earth taken by the Russian weather satellite Elektro-L No.1. (NTsOMZ)

A Russian satellite has captured what is thought to be the highest resolution picture of our planet ever taken from space.

The camera on board the Elektro-L, a geostationary weather satellite launched in January 2011, snaps stunning, 121-megapixel pictures of Earth as it orbits some 22,000 miles (36,000km) above the equator.

According to tech blog Gizmodo, the image recently released by the Russian Federal Space Agency was produced by overlaying four pictures of the entire Earth -- three taken at three wavelengths of visible light and one infrared image, which makes our planet's vegetation appear orange.

In contrast, NASA's iconic "Blue Marble" images of Earth are created by pasting together several smaller, true-color pictures.

The Russian photo was first published by James Drake on the Planet Earth website.