Human Journey

NASA Unveils Selfie of Earth Created With Tens of Thousands of Individual Pictures

A low-resolution preview of the 3.2-billion-pixel sized NASA Earth Day Global Selfie 2014 photo mosaic. Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech/NOAA

Say “cheese!” NASA has unveiled a global selfie, a stunning mosaic of the planet Earth seen from outer space that was stitched together from tens of thousands of self-portraits taken by people from around the world.

The Earth images were created with more than 36,000 selfies that were submitted to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory  this year on Earth Day, by people from 131 nations or regions. In the mosaic, self-portraits with blue backgrounds illustrate oceans, those with white backgrounds illustrate clouds, and photos with brown backgrounds illustrate continents. (See also: “All By My Selfie: National Geographic Photographers Muse on the Word of the Year.”)

See for yourself—folks who want to take a closer look at the result can zoom into the 3.2 gigapixel Global Selfie:

[pano file=”” width=”600″ height=”480″]


We were overwhelmed to see people participate from so many countries,” says NASA’s Peg Luce, in a statement. “We’re very grateful that people took the time to celebrate our home planet together, and we look forward to everyone doing their part to be good stewards of our precious Earth.” (See also: “Global ‘Selfie’ to Be Beamed to Outer Space.”)

  • khaluf

    perfect images , from outside looks like one unity and there is no division

  • Phoenix

    Why is this called a selfie? Isn’t a selfie a picture one takes of oneself? It’s strange that the word photograph is simply kicked aside. It’s a good word, you know.

  • Phoenix

    An artwork made of selfies from all over the world is more accurate I think,

  • Debdutta pal

    Very nice


    Absolutely Beautiful, And what an incredible way to show our planet. I think some of those war mongrels should take a close look at this and re-think their plans for world domination.
    Great Job NASA and Nat Geo!


    Sometimes I hate the auto spell check.
    It was supposed to be War Mongers, not mongrels.

  • Arzoo Shaikh

    This is too good :).. awesome work!!

  • julio

    me gustaría conocer mas el infinito de tierra

  • Hannah

    Wow! That is stunning.

  • Víctor López

    Es el lugar en donde como bebo y me hago más inteligente LO AMO.

  • Cameron

    Very nice but shouldn’t NASA be focusing on more important things?

  • Sandy Maclean

    How can people on earth take pictures of earth?The picture takers would have to be on an orbiter or another planet or our moon

  • Melissa


  • Aaron Zepplin

    Dislike. Just the word “selfie” makes my skin crawl. I would hope NASA has better things in the cooker than this.

  • david

    Y el avion malasio ?

  • khalil

    this is a great idea

  • DaddyMac

    To those who don’t get the selfie reference (or read the article), zoom in. This is actually a photo-mosaic using many selfies contributed from people around the world to create an image of the earth.

    Pretty cool idea, but I do find it odd that this came from NASA. Their budget is already tight enough. Shouldn’t they be focusing their limited resources on science, their primary mission? That said, it is good PR, and probably didn’t cost too much.

  • Stan

    Me, too…Less “cute”, and more “space”, please, NASA. Although if funding keeps dropping, maybe the PR is the only way to get anything done?

  • Libby

    The artical says “See for yourself…” but I can’t figure out how. Do I use GigaCam to zoom in to view the details in this photo? I haven’t been able to open this photo on GigaCam. Actually, I haven’t been able to find this photo on GigaCam. Help?

  • Mike

    This is very cool! It is so nice to see NASA reaching out to our children using language they can relate to. When they see the word selfie they will have to take a look. Once we get them interested, heaven only knows where it will go from there. I applaud NASA National Geographic.

  • tarheel

    What an incredible waste of resources!

  • Dennis Mendoza

    Very cool 🙂

  • J. David Tholl

    Quite a range of reactions, from “Golly, Mr. Wizard!” to blank stares from those too lazy or unimaginative to test the possi-
    ble reasons for calling the exercise a “selfie”. What an irritat-
    ly self-aborbed term, “selfie”!

  • Jim

    LOL – Will Farrell is right in the middle of India!

  • Jade

    Look at all the white people in Africa!!

    Completely misrepresentative. Most of the world has no acces to cameras or internet still, let’s. It forget that.

  • Eunice Ferrante

    Nice “Selfie” … Beautiful picture! Congratulations!

  • Anand Thaker

    Now that the liberals are in power, NASA’s goals are less about space exploration (Mr. Obama seems to have canceled the plans for further space exploration) and more about diversity and outreach to the Muslim world (a priority given by Obama to their director who is an affirmative action hire himself).

    Liberals who got goosebumps from the United Colors of Bennetton ads with people of different colors holding hands are probably giddy after clicking this link.

  • Larry Todd

    Would it not have been nice to have had this technology back when we launched Voyager. We could have included it on the gold disc that is attached to it.

  • ali


  • Rita

    What a beautiful way to show that our world is composed of a world of individuals. Perhaps, we can all work together in other ways to care for each other and our world.

  • etienne

    Jade, How did you get to see Africa ?

  • Aman Bhutani

    Will Ferrel in the middle of India holding a SAN DIEGO location tag wasn’t blunder enough, more than 90% of India comprising of hardly any INDIANS… Nice concept but definitely misinterpreted. Well pointed out, Jim 🙂

  • Observer

    How beautiful ! Looking from that perspective, the observer warns: “Just watch this planet from here and don’t try to enter it. The race there – the human race – is at its best to destroy it by all means. You will find there only killing and extinction. The environment has been made unliveable.”

  • Ken Minor

    As a child, I had a surrounding aura of flying in space. One day, some limited Earthling told me it wasn’t so. How devastating! My life was changed then–and has stayed Earth-bound since (I am now 75 years old). I regret to report that news. However, I still believe that people,at some point in human existence, shall fly–without spaceships. A beginning has already occurred, for which I am thrilled and revitalized. Keep it going! Make my Earthling Dream come true–for everyone!!!!! Ken P.S. I’ll be reading, listening, and watching until I spiritually fly, myself. The best to your Earthly flying years in the future!!! Ken

  • Jacquellyn Hamalian

    Actually this technology is a science, even if it’s not one traditionally known for NASA, and it’s excellent PR that is relatively inexpensive for their budget. I think it’s a great way to show kids, who are constantly taking “selfies” and posting them to their friends. I wish I had seen the piece to send in a pic. My 14 yr old daughter and her friends, or even her science or technology class would have had a blast with this. Even still, she will enjoy this since she is already an astronomy buff.

    Phoenix, I agree photograph is a word that should have been used more often, but unfortunately the word “selfie” in this case is appropriate because that has become the popular word for social media, whom the target audience was for with trying to expand publicity. I think if it had been better advertised their would be even more photographs. In any case, I will still be sharing this with my daughter and her friends.

    Good job NASA and NG!

  • Syed Arbab Ahmed

    Ohhh…..I did not know this otherwise I could have sent my selfie as well, but a good effort

  • Yolanda

    Teh best selfie I’ve ever seen, Gorgeous!

  • Mary

    Artistic celebration of our only home on Earth Day — a participative experience that itself is unifying — integrating art and science and societies — I’m glad most respondents are enjoying this. Let’s treat each other and our planet better!

  • Lewis

    Amazing. Truly amazing!

  • Greg

    Fractograf does a better job with this type of photosharing

  • Simon rep of Engineers Without Borders

    This is amazing, and honestly should be used to show the changes in earths properties over time.
    I will follow this development with interest.
    It is beautiful and lets work to keep it that way.

  • Lida del Monte


  • Hung hoang

    I salute the incredible idea and incredible work of incredible artists !

  • Past Reflections

    Hover pointer over picture and roll your scroll wheel. Pic should zoom incrementally larger as you do. Eventually you should begin to see the photos of people’s faces (their ‘selfies’) that have been shrunk to pixel size to create the overall image. I do find it a bit interesting, as it reminds me of the Cross necklaces I used to see that had a little glass ‘diamond’ in the middle. When you looked up close into the ‘diamond’ you could see the Lord’s Prayer inside it (in microprint no doubt, which was rather fascinating considering it was in the late 1960’s).

  • Bob martin

    I found myself

  • Monique

    The zoom is not big enough. What do they keep me busy with.

  • Sonya


  • sneal

    I wonder how this has been done !

  • Gen

    We all learned here that the mass of people complaining cannot read. As Jade pointed out, “Look at all the white people in Africa!!

    Completely misrepresentative. Most of the world has no acces to cameras or internet still, let’s. It forget that.”

    What she didn’t read was, “In the mosaic, self-portraits with blue backgrounds illustrate oceans, those with white backgrounds illustrate clouds, and photos with brown backgrounds illustrate continents.”

    What that means is they used the photos where the dominate colors worked best to create what the Earth looks like…

    And as Sandy Maclean points out, “How can people on earth take pictures of earth?The picture takers would have to be on an orbiter or another planet or our moon”

    Honey, please read: “NASA has unveiled a global selfie, a stunning mosaic of the planet Earth seen from outer space that was stitched together from tens of thousands of self-portraits taken by people from around the world.”

    I don’t think it was a waste of resources. I think it’s pretty amazing what can be done with 36,000 pictures of people from around the world, no matter where they are from. As khaluf pointed out, “from outside looks like one unity and there is no division”. How the world SHOULD be. Not a waste when you’re getting across the idea that there should be no division among people but rather unity.

  • jersy

    where is indonesia?
    404 not found

  • nksn

    Truly beautiful image, people need to understand the big picture of this image and not critize the small things like “shouldn’t nasa be doing something else” you do realize their mission and budget has been cut right?

  • A.R. Aphiphi

    It’s really a big mission for us. I wishing the NASA to increase people digit. Thank’s to NASA.

  • mehadi hassan

    it is a nice system

  • Arafath Sarker Shetu

    আমিও তো বিশ্ব নাগরিক,আমার ফটো কই এইখানে ! 😉 !

  • Ellen

    These pictures are absolutely stunning. I would have participated had I known this was going to take place. It really is a shame that people would complain about something so beautiful. What a wonderful world we live in. Grow up and complain about something worthwhile. These people would probably rant about world peace. Learn to appreciate the simple things in life, you might surprise yourselves!

  • Stephan Harrilal


  • greg

    hovering cursor shouldn’t move image; only drag should

  • Grant

    It’s a really good PR considering NASA is strapped for cash. I just wish they would have been a little more public about it, still really cool though.

  • natalia l.

    i thought that was actual earth haha! i should really read titles more often 😛

  • natalia l.

    when i saw 2 ppl in one picture im like. SELFIE PPL. SELF 😛

  • anjuly sharma

    Beautiful !! Awwsome !! Innovative !!

  • anjuly sharma

    Awwsome!! Innovative!! Stunning!!

  • kahina

    soo amazing our cute earth <3

  • Md.Tareq

    Its Awesome….

  • marya

    so magnificent , fascinating , and memorable pictures. I really like them.

  • cheng

    Great! I love them. It looks beautiful. I couldn’t believe it was composed of photo. I don’t know Is it right? Are my photos. In a word, I like space!

  • daffodyl mabansag



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