Back on April 1, 1960, NASA launched the TIROS-1, the first successful low-Earth orbital weather satellite. And this is the first picture it sent back.


Image courtesy of Rick Kohrs, SSEC via CIMSS Satellite Blog.

The satellite, the first of a series of Television Infrared Observation Satellites, stayed in orbit for only 78 days. The grainy image shows thick bands and clusters of clouds over the United States. A few days later it snapped a picture of a typhoon about 1,000 miles east of Australia.


Here's what the entire image looks like:

And here's the second picture take by the satellite:

Despite the header on the photograph, it is indeed the second image taken of Earth. You can read more about this groundbreaking project at the NOAA.


H/t Discover.