20 Amazing Images of Earth as Seen From Space

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  • Image: Frank Borman & James A. Lovell

    The Earth is a truly beautiful and fascinating place – even more so when seen from Space as distances and proportions take on a whole new dimension. Is this how ants see their world, we wonder? Follow us on a tour of our Blue Planet as seen from Space and be ready for some stunning pictures.

  • Image: NASA

    Let’s begin our tour of the Earth from Space by looking at the Earth at night:

    This is a composite picture taken at various times during the night that was then pasted together to create the appearance of Earth at night. Or did you think it is night all over the world at the same time?

    Amazing how bright and clearly visible some of the urban areas are. Let’s take a closer look.

  • Image: NASA

    The Americas at night

    This image was taken from a composite picture of the Earth at various times of the night.

  • Image: NASA

    And Europe, Africa and the Middle East

    This image was taken from a composite picture of the Earth at various times of the night.

  • Image: NASA

    Asia and Australia

    This image was taken from a composite picture of the Earth at various times of the night.

  • Image: Dave Pape

    Not to miss Antarctica, here’s a beautiful and rare full view of the seventh continent.

  • Image: NASA

    A winter wonderland – snow-covered Scandinavia

    Staying with the winter mood, below is an image of Scandinavia in winter – truly a pretty one. One can clearly make out the many fjords, etched into the Norwegian coastline. Lake Vänern and Lake Vättern in Sweden do not completely freeze in winter, whereas Finland’s many lakes are too small to be clearly seen from Space.

  • Image: NASA

    Greenland’s coast just before the onset of winter

    Speaking of snow and ice, here’s Greenland’s eastern coast with inland snow slowly making its way to the coastal lands while the fjords are bordered by the icy waters from the sea.

  • Image: NASA

    Another extreme climate zone is the Saharan desert. Its vastness seems graspable only from Space.

  • Image: NASA

    Islands are a popular photographic motif with astronauts who snap them again and again. Maybe it’s because they are clearly marked, self-contained entities, similar to a spaceship. Here’s a selection of a few islands that caught our eye.

    At more than 2,000 miles from the closest populations on Tahiti and Chile, Easter Island is one of the most remote places on Earth. Even the astronauts orbiting were closer: only 210 miles above.

  • Image: NASA

    In this image, Hawaii is looking somewhat like a pancake with a dash of powdered sugar.

  • Image: NASA

    Going further east, we have Bahrain, the island country in the Persian Gulf.

  • Image: NASA

    In this image, ireland is looking truly green and somewhat like a bear’s paw.

  • Image: NASA

    Here is Cyprus, the Eurasian island state, with Turkey just above.

  • Image: NASA

    Like a key – this is what the barren and mountainous Auckland Islands south of New Zealand look like.

  • Image: NASA

    An oblique view of Florida with the Florida Keys (left) and the Bahama banks (right). Lake Okeechobee is clearly visible in the middle of the state.

    Peninsulas with their distinct shapes must be pretty good landmarks for astronauts trying to find where on Earth, er in Space, they are. Who would mistake Florida’s characteristic outline for anything else, for example?

  • Image: NASA

    Here’s a view of the triangular Sinai Peninsula and the Dead Sea Rift. In the centre, the Red Sea.

  • Image: NASA

    Manhattan is also a peninsula; here with a smoke plume on September 11, taken by Expedition 3 crew of the International Space Station.

  • Image: Frank Borman & James A. Lovell

    The Andes, very snake-like and glistening in the sun, as seen when looking south from northern Bolivia.

    Water bodies like rivers, bays and straits also make for good landmarks and scenic pictures. See for yourself.

  • Image: NASA

    The Ganges River Delta in India and Bangladesh

    The Ganges River Delta is the world’s largest intertidal delta. Space Shuttle photographs help monitor the delta’s environmental and geological changes over time. Huge silt and clay deposits create a constantly changing maze of islands and waterways in the Bay of Bengal.

  • Image: NASA

    The San Francisco Bay Area

    The San Francisco Bay Area, just featured on Environmental Graffiti in our “from above” series, now as seen from Space. An impressive sight with the Golden Gate Bridge, the Presidio, Golden Gate Park, Alcatraz Island and Treasure Island clearly visible.

  • Image: NASA

    Strait of Gibraltar

    Here’s the Strait of Gibraltar as seen from Space, slightly rotated. The Strait separates Spain (here on the left) from Morocco (on the right). Those looking really closely will spot the Rock of Gibraltar as a tiny arrowhead.

  • Image: NASA

    The ocean glistening in the sun, photographed during mission STS-38 in Nov. 1990.

  • Image: NASA

    Finally, the Earth by day as seen from Space.

    Sources: 1, 2, 3

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Simone Preuss
Simone Preuss
Scribol Staff
Science
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