TIME space

A Satellite Took Pictures of Another Satellite and Now It’s a GIF

The launch of DigitalGlobe's WorldView-3 is seen from Vandenberg Air Force Base on Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014.
The launch of DigitalGlobe's WorldView-3 is seen from Vandenberg Air Force Base on Aug. 13, 2014. DigitalGlobe

Well, this is pretty meta

A series of pictures provided to TIME by DigitalGlobe shows what kind of fun you can have when you own multiple satellites.

The images captured the launch of the company’s newest satellite launching into orbit this past Wednesday.

The new WorldView-3 satellite, worth roughly a half-billion dollars and about the size of a small RV, became the highest-resolution commercial satellite in space. DigitalGlobe, the company that funded its manufacture, said it will offer 31-centimeter resolution, much clearer than the current 50-cm aboard the WorldView-2.

Technology aboard the new satellite will, among other things, supply Google Maps with higher resolution photos for “satellite view.”

The satellite that shot the photos was flying at an altitude of over 300 miles, according to DigitalGlobe, and orbiting at a speed of 17,000 mph.

Video of the launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California can be seen below.

TIME space

Watch a High-Tech Satellite Get Launched Into Space

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Updated 2:48 p.m. ET

A new satellite launched Wednesday is expected to provide imagery of Earth that is nearly 40% sharper than what’s currently available.

The new WorldView-3 satellite, worth a half-billion dollars and about the size of a small RV, will become the highest-resolution commercial satellite in space. DigitalGlobe, the company that funded its manufacture, said it will offer 31-centimeter resolution, much clearer than the current 50-cm aboard the WorldView-2.

That will give the satellite the ability to see through clouds and certain precipitation, the company added, potentially leading to shorter wait times for making and receiving images.

The U.S. government is DigitalGlobe’s No. 1 customer, but the general public is likely to benefit from its orbit. Technology aboard the satellite will, among other things, supply Google Maps with higher resolution photos for “satellite view” and should be able to help people like first-responders, who are trying to identify a wildfire’s origin or researchers who, using DigitalGlobe’s 10-year archive, are looking into crops at risk of disease or drought.

The launch took place at 2:30 p.m. E.T., from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

TIME celebrities

Here’s Footage From Lauren Bacall’s Wedding to Humphrey Bogart

That is one sexy cake cutting

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This footage from Paramount pictures, shot on May 21, 1945, shows 20-year-old Lauren Bacall getting married to 45-year-old Humphrey Bogart, at a farmhouse in Lucas, Ohio. They look pretty darn in love.

TIME Music

See Coachella Through the Eyes of Google Glass

See the famed California music fest from a new angle

Jonathan D. Woods, TIME’s Senior Editor for Photo & Interactive, spent a weekend at Coachella. Here’s an intimate firsthand look at how he saw the music festival through a unique lens: Google Glass.

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