This 2012 picture was taken from the VIIRS instrument onboard the NASA Suomi NPP (National Polar-orbiting Partnership) satellite.
The composite picture was taken in several orbits of the satellite as it circled Earth on January 4, 2012.
The Suomi NPP satellite was formerly called the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System Preparatory Project.
However, it has since been renamed to honor the University of Wisconsin (Madison) meteorologist Verner E. Suomi (1915-1995), who many regard as the 'father of satellite meteorology.'
To see the Blue Marble 2012 photograph, and to compare it to the 1972 one, please read the 1/25/2012 Huffington Post article 'Blue Marble 2012: NASA Releases High Definition Image Of Earth (PHOTO).'
You can also see Blue MArble 2012 on the NASA website "Image of the Day Gallery".