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ESA Earth From Space  Earth Observation @ the European Space Agency 🌍🛰 Click the link below to catch our current #WhereOnEarth image.


The Copernicus Sentinel-2A satellite takes us over the northern part of Western Australia to the Wolfe Creek Crater National Park. 
The area pictured is close to the edge of the Great Sandy Desert, the country’s second-largest, and presents a landscape of desert plains and grasslands. 
At the centre of the image we can see the Wolfe Creek Crater, the remnant of a meteorite crash some 300 000 years ago. The crater measures about 875 m across, and plants grow at the centre, likely thriving off water reserves from seasonal rain. 
The name for the crater comes from its vicinity to the nearby Wolfe Creek, after being spotted during aerial surveys in the 1940s. But the crater has long been known to the Aboriginal people as ‘Kandimalal’ and is believed to be the site where a rainbow-coloured snake emerged from the ground to create the nearby creek. 
Mystical reptiles aside, the park is home to the brown ring-tailed dragon – a type of lizard. 
While roads appear as straight lines cutting across the landscape, some other lines appear brighter, particularly in the lower-central part of the image. These are sand ridges shaped by east–west prevailing winds. Their brightness comes from a difference in vegetation, or lack of vegetation, detected by Sentinel-2’s multispectral imager. 
This image was captured on 10 February 2016.

#Copernicus #Sentinel #Sentinel2 #satellite #WesternAustralia #Australia #WolfeCreekCrater  #WolfeCreek #NationalPark #crater #GreatSandyDesert #landscape #desert #DesertOlains #grasslands #MeteoriteCrash #meteorite #WaterReserves #SeasonalRain #AerialSurveys #Aboriginal #Kandimalal #RainbowColouredSnake #creek #SandRidges #vegetation #ColourVision

Copyright: contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2016), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

The Sentinel-2A satellite takes us over southeastern Alaska to the Malaspina Glacier.
The climate and topography of this area over the last 12.5 million years have been favourable for glaciers. During the Ice Age, a vast ice sheet covered this spot. When temperatures rose, an interglacial period began.
The coastal mountains and the maritime climate of this area provide the perfect setting for glaciation: some of the world’s longest and most spectacular glaciers are found here.
Malaspina is a piedmont glacier – meaning that ice flows down a steep valley and spills out onto a relatively flat plain. It is the largest of its kind, with an area of about 3900 sq km.
In this false-colour image, red depicts vegetated areas while purple shows rock. The wavy purple lines around the lower half of the glacier are rock, soil and other debris that have been deposited by the glacier – called moraines.
Satellite data show that the elevation of Malaspina has dropped over the past decades, and this ice loss has made a significant contribution to sea-level rise.
This image, also featured on the Earth from Space video programme, was acquired on 8 March 2016. The low Sun level at Alaska’s high latitudes during this season is evident by the shadows cast north by the Elias Mountains.
#Copernicus #Sentinel2 #satellite #ColourVision #Alaska #MalaspinaGlacier #climate #glaciers #IceAge #IceSheet #InterglacialPeriod #CoastalMountains #MaritimeClimate #glaciation #Malaspina #PiedmontGlacier #FalseColour #moraines #IceLoss #SeaLevel #Climate #EliasMountains #EarthfromSpace
Copyright: contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2016), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

Rolling sand dunes in the expansive Rub’ al Khali desert on the southern Arabian Peninsula are pictured in this image from the Sentinel-2A satellite. 
Also known at the ‘Empty Quarter’, the Rub’ al Khali is the largest contiguous sand desert in the world. Precipitation rarely exceeds 35 mm a year and regular high temperatures are around 50°C. 
The yellow lines and dots in this false-colour image are sand dunes. Looking closer at the dunes in the lower right, many have three or more ‘arms’ shaped by changing wind directions and are known as ‘star dunes’. They tend to ‘grow’ upwards rather than laterally, and reach up to 250 m in height in some parts of the  Rub’ al Khali. 
The dunes are interspersed with hardened flat plains – remnants of shallow lakes that existed thousands of years ago, formed by monsoon-like rains and runoff. The multispectral instrument on Sentinel-2 uses parts of the infrared spectrum to detect subtle changes in vegetation cover, but can also see changes in mineral composition where vegetation is sparse. In this image, shades of brown to bright purple show the mineral composition, possibly including salt or gypsum. 
This image was captured by Sentinel-2A on 22 December 2015.
#Copernicus #Sentinel #Sentinel2 #satellite #ColourVision #SandDunes #RubAlKhali #desert #ArabianPeninsula #Arabia #SatelliteImage #EmptyQuarter #LargestSandDesert #FalseColour #dunes #StarDunes #FlatPlains #ShallowLakes #vegetation #salt #gypsum
Copyright: contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2015), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

Part of the Anti-Atlas mountains bordering the Sahara Desert in western Algeria is pictured in this satellite image. 
The Anti-Atlas range was born from continental collision, and geologists believe it was once higher than the Himalayas, but was reduced through erosion. 
Here the land is mostly dry and barren as the mountains belong to the Saharan climate zone. But some stream channels created by occasional water runoff or from when the climate was much wetter than today, are visible. 
The circle at the centre of the image is the Ouarkziz crater. Some 3.5 km across, the crater was created when a meteor hit Earth less than 70 million years ago, when dinosaurs still roamed the planet. 
This image was captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2A satellite on 9 March.
#Copernicus #Sentinel #Sentinel2 #ColourVision #AntiAtlas #mountains #SaharaDesert # Algeria #Africa #AntiAtlasMountains #Sahara #SatelliteImage #desert #ContinentalCollision #geologists #Himalayas #erosion #Climate #StreamChannels #climate #OuarkzizCrater #Ouarkziz #meteor #Earth #dinosaurs
Copyright: contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2016), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

September Equinox 
Equinox is either of two astronomical moments in the year when the Sun hits vertically on the Earth's equator. The one at 14:21 UTC on 22 September 2016 (in the image) marked the start of the astronomical autumn in the northern hemisphere last year. 
The image was captured by the Meteosat-8 Natural Colour RGB, taken as close to the actual time of the equinox as possible – on 22 September 2016 at 14:27 UTC (16:27 CEST). Meteorologically the image at the equinox is of no special value, apart from the fact that the sunglint area, which characterises the ocean area mirroring solar radiation straight into the Meteosat sensors, is centred on the equator too, moving west roughly half the apparent speed of the Sun.
#SeptemberEquinox #equinox #AutumnEquinox #NorthernEmisphere #AstronomicalMoments #AstronomicalAutumn #Sun #Earth #SpringEquinox #SouthernEmisphere #AstronomicalSpring 
#Meteosat #Meteosat8 #NaturalColour #satellite #GeostationarySatellite #Meteorology #SunglintArea #sunglint #OceanArea #SolarRadiation #equator
Copyright: ESA/EUMETSAT (2016)

The Sentinel-2A satellite takes us over part of northwest England in this image captured on 5 January 2017.
The dark area near the centre of the image is the Forest of Bowland. 'Forest' here means "a royal hunting ground and does not refer to trees. The area has barren fells and peat moorland. During the Second World War, parts of the Bowland fells were used for military exercises, and unexploded bombs have been found in the area.
In the upper left we can see some of the intertidal mudflats of Morecambe Bay, with the city of Lancaster on the coast. The city of Preston is situated at lower left on the River Ribble, which flows into an estuary where it meets the Irish Sea.
The area north of the Ribble Estuary is the Fylde coastal plain. This somewhat square peninsula was created by the deposition of sediment by the rivers and streams over a long time. Parts were once dug for peat, but today towns and agriculture blanket the plain. The far-west side (not pictured) is mostly urban.
On the right side of the image are three aircraft contrails forming straight lines. Zooming in on one of these, we see that instead of a single white contrail line there are three colours. While this may look like coloured smoke released from the aircraft, it is an artefact created when the Sentinel-2 data were processed.

#Copernicus #Sentinel #Sentinel2 #ColourVision #EO #EarthObservation #CreativeCommons #England #Yorkshire #Lancashire #ForestOfBowland #BarrenFells #PeatMoorland #SecondWorldWar #UnexplodedBombs #mudflats #MorecambvbbeBay #Lancaster #Preston #RiverRibble #IrishSea #RibbleEstuary #Fylde

Copyright: contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2017), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

Witnessed by the Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission on 12 July 2017, a lump of ice more than twice the size of Luxembourg broke off the Larsen C ice shelf, spawning one of the largest icebergs on record and changing the outline of the Antarctic Peninsula forever. Over the following two months, systematic observations from Sentinel-1 showed that the A68 berg remained close, buffeting back and forth against the ice shelf. It was unclear what would happen to the berg because they can remain in one place for years.
However, the mission has revealed that A68 is now on the move and drifting out to sea. Images from 16 September show that there is a gap of about 18 km as the berg appears to be turning away from the shelf.

#Copernicus #Sentinel #Sentinel1 #RadarSatellite #LarsenC #A68 #IceShelf #Antarctica #AntarcticOcean #sea #ocean #iceberg #calving #EarthObservation #ClimateChange
Copyright: contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2017), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

#WhereOnEarth was this satellite image captured? Try to guess the name of this forest for a chance to win an ESA gadget. Remember that this is just a snippet of a larger image, which will be revealed tomorrow at 10:00 CEST on our weekly episode of #EarthFromSpace (www.esa.int/esalive) and on our Instagram profile.

First hint: it’s the same size as New York City.

#EarthFromSpace #Copernicus #Sentinel #image #contest #quiz #MyPlanetFromSpace #gadget #prize #forest #ESA #WhereInTheWorld @europeanspaceagency

Copyright: contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2017), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

Proba-V captures Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt plain – its 10 500 sq km make it larger than some countries. 
Located in the highlands of southwestern Bolivia at an altitude of 3650 m, Salar de Uyuni is also extremely flat, varying less than 1 m across its expanse. It is so flat that it is often used to calibrate laser and radar altimeters on satellites. 
The salt plains were formed 42 000–30 000 years ago as a result of transformations between several prehistoric lakes. The crusty top layer, several metres thick in places, lies on a brine rich in lithium (containing 50–70% of the world’s reserves), potassium and magnesium. 
The false-colour Proba-V image was acquired on 5 April 2017. On the western side of the Salar de Uyuni, some wavy patterns are visible, while blue shades on the northern and eastern edges indicate flooded areas. The small rectangular patches to the south of the salt flat indicate a large lithium mining area. 
Launched on 7 May 2013, Proba-V is a miniaturised ESA satellite tasked with a full-scale mission: to map land cover and vegetation growth across the entire planet every two days. 
Its main camera’s continent-spanning 2250 km swath width collects light in the blue, red, near-infrared and mid-infrared wavebands at 300 m resolution and down to 100 m resolution in its central field of view. 
VITO Remote Sensing in Belgium processes and then distributes Proba-V data to users worldwide. An online image gallery highlights some of the mission’s most striking images so far, including views of storms, fires and deforestation.
#ProbaV #minisatellite #EarthObservation #SalarDeUyuni #LargestSaltPlain #SaltPlain #Bolivia #PrehistoricLakes #brine #lithium #potassium #magnesium #FalseColour #SatelliteImage #FloodedAreas #storms #fires #deforestation
Copyright: ESA/Belspo – produced by VITO

Are you passionate about our planet and interested in how satellites help to improve everyday lives and do you share your passion via social media? Then ESA’s next SocialSpace event is for you. 
With the Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite set for liftoff on 13 October at 09:27 GMT (11:27 CEST), we are inviting 25 social media users to apply to join us at the launch event at ESA’s European Space Research and Technology Centre in Noordwijk, ESTEC, the Netherlands. 
It will be the place to be to enjoy the launch of Sentinel-5P. Invitees will have an exclusive insider's look at the incredible science, engineering, applications and businesses behind Copernicus, the world’s biggest Earth observation programme, and meet the experts who are making it happen. 
Don’t miss your chance to snap, post, tweet, blog and share this experience with the world. 
As a Sentinel-5P launch SocialSpace participant, you will have the opportunity to: meet ESA and European specialists on atmospheric monitoring and air pollution, receive special briefings and updates from ESA’s test centre experts, follow the launch via live video feed from Russia’s Plesetsk Cosmodrome, and join a behind-the-scenes guided tour of ESTEC, ESA’s technical heart. 
This event is designed for people who: have a keen interest in our planet and how satellites gather data, are active on multiple social media channels, platforms and tools to share information, regularly produce new content and make, share and reuse images, audio and video, can reach audiences using their social media channels and at offline venues such as presentations at schools, universities and clubs, and have previous postings that are respected and accurate. 
To apply, follow the link in our bio.
#Copernicus #Sentinel #Sentinel5P #Precursor #SocialSpace #SpaceTweeps #SentiNerds #Tropomi #satellites #SocialMedia #ESA #launch #SpaceResearch #TechnologyCentre #Noordwijk #ESTEC #Netherlands #EarthObservation #atmosphere #TraceGases #aerosols
Copyright: ESA

The Sentinel-2A satellite takes us over to northeastern Iran, the second largest country in the Middle East. 
A dryland area, most of Iran’s territory is classified as arid and semi-arid, about half of which is characterised by rangeland, barren land and mountains. 
Visible in the centre of the image and at top left are alluvial fans. These are formed when streams or rivers hit plains and spread out. They represent the distinct pattern of water runoff from the mountains, where the eroded soil, with the help of rain, is carried from the mountain slopes to lower lands. 
At top left, resembling brush strokes in a painting, seasonal accumulation of water and various salt minerals is evident in greys and whites. 
Scattered throughout the image are many agricultural plots, distinct in such an arid and mountainous region, which also features various rocky formations. 
At the far right, the city of Bajestan is visible, with many agricultural fields around it. It is a city with a population of some 11 000, with saffron and pomegranate its most important products, grown in the various plots on the left. 
The shades of red indicate how sensitive the multispectral instrument on Sentinel-2A is to differences in chlorophyll content, providing key information on vegetation health. 
Various towns or settlements are represented in greys throughout the image.
This false-colour image was captured by Sentinel-2A on 22 February 2016.

#Copernicus #Sentinel #Sentinel2 #ColourVision #Iran #Persia #MiddleEast #DrylandArea #rangeland #BarrenLand #mountains #SatelliteImage #AlluvialFans #SaltMinerals #agriculture #Bajestan #chlorophyll #vegetation #towns #settlements

Copyright: contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2016), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

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