Canon 5D Mark III mounted on a satellite snaps photos of earth

Chris Burns - Jan 15, 2021, 1:03pm CST
Canon 5D Mark III mounted on a satellite snaps photos of earth

There’s a Canon camera on a satellite right now that you can use to “take photos” of Earth. This camera is part of an interactive demonstration of the powers of the camera – coupled with a 40cm telescope – pointed at our planet. The camera that’s mounted to the company’s CE-SAT-I satellite is a “lightly modified” Canon 5D Mark III DSLR.

The satellite is known as CE-SAT-I – a tiny piece of hardware circling the earth right this minute. According to Canon, CE-SAT-I is “the first microsatellite entirely built by Canon… a small, light, and cost-efficient solution that’s redefining the limits of space imaging.”

This satellite is 33-inches by 20-inches by 20-inches – rather tiny. It was first launched all the way back in 2017. While this satellite does indeed currently orbit the planet at 375 miles above the surface, snapping photos in a 3 x 2 mile frame, the photos you see in the interactive site are not captured live. Wouldn’t want to leave a presentation like this up to hundreds or thousands of average internet pursuers, now, would they?

The site is narrated by astronaut Marsha Ivins, who speaks about the cost-efficient, high-resolution satellites of the future are “making space imaging more accessible.” Accessible with the same camera we got our hands on all the way back in the year 2012 – imagine that!

You can visit the interactive site at Redefine The Limits (dot US). Imagine if you had your own satellite just like this, able to snap photos whenever you like. Where would you look? What would you want to capture photos of? How far in would you dare to zoom?


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