Live satellite cameras provides current views of Earth sent from space. The images are sent from satellites orbiting the Earth. For example, satellites operated by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration transmit images of one of Earth's hemispheres every three hours. The images show weather affecting various parts of the planet and can be viewed online.
Some services also provide a live view of Earth as seen from space. The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration broadcasts a live feed from the International Space Station that can be viewed online.
Google Earth shows non-live satellite views of the planet. Views can be zoomed to see individual businesses and homes, including details of vehicles parked nearby. The ability to view live images through Google Earth is said to be several years away as of 2014.
Satellites are sophisticated pieces of technology that are launched into space with rockets and orbit the Earth for various purposes, including military and civilian observation, weather tracking and research. Satellites can also include space stations and spacecraft with humans on board. Approximately 3,600 satellites are in orbit as of 2014. The U.S. Space Surveillance Network tracks objects orbiting the Earth. The agency, part of the U.S. Strategic Command, has observed more than 26,000 objects orbiting Earth since the launch of the Russian spacecraft Sputnik in 1957.