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

http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2017/11/Salar_de_Atacama_Chile

National Day of Latvia 
This Envisat image captures ice covering parts of the Gulf of Bothnia (top), the Gulf of Finland (middle right) and the Gulf of Riga (bottom right) on 19 April 2011. The ice was as thick as 50-80 cm in the northern part of the Bay of Bothnia off Finland’s western coast. The central and southern Bay of Bothnia was reported to have ice cover as thick as 30–70 cm. 
Visible in the image (clockwise from bottom left) are parts of Sweden, Finland (top right), Russia (top and centre left), Estonia and Latvia (bottom right). The Swedish islands of Öland and Gotland are visible at the bottom.
#Envisat #Satellite #SatelliteImage #ice #GulfOfBothnia #GulfOfFinland #GulfOfRiga #BayOfBothnia #Finland #Sweden #Finland #Russia #Estonia #Latvia #SwedishIslands #islands #IceThickness #Öland #Oland #Gotland
Copyright: ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

From the Salar de Atacama salt flat in the east to the Cordillera Domeyko mountains in the west,  Sentinel-2 takes us over part of the Atacama Desert in northern Chile. 
The desert runs along part of South America’s central west coast. It is considered one of the driest places on Earth. Being a ‘coastal desert’, the cold, upwelling waters in the Pacific Ocean inhibit rain from reaching the land. Instead, the winds that blow from the ocean bring fog. 
Because of the Atacama plateau’s high altitude, low cloud cover and lack of light pollution, it is one of the best places in the world to conduct astronomical observations and home to two major observatories. 
Some areas of the desert have been compared to the planet Mars, and have been used as a location for filming scenes set on the red planet. ESA has even tested a self-steering rover in the Atacama, which was selected for its similarities to martian conditions. 
In the lower right, the geometric shapes of large evaporation ponds dominate the Salar de Atacama – Chile’s largest salt flat. At about 3000 sq km, it is the world’s third largest salt flat as well as one of the largest active sources of lithium. From evaporation ponds like the ones pictured here, lithium bicarbonate is isolated from salt brine. Lithium is used in the manufacturing of batteries, and the increasing demand has significantly increased its value in recent years – especially for the production of electric-car batteries. 
This image was captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2A satellite on 29 April 2017.
#Copernicus #Sentinel2 #Sentinel #EarthObservation #ColourVision #SatelliteImage #SalarDeAtacama #SaltFlat #CordilleraDomeyko #mountains #AtacamaDesert #Chile #desert #SouthAmerica #TheDriestPlace #CoastalDesert #PacificOcean #fog #AstronomicalObservations #AstronomicalObservatories #Mars #LithiumBicarbonate #SaltBrine #lithium #batteries
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 place for a chance to win an ESA gadget. Remember that this is just a snippet of a larger image, which will be revealed tomorrow on our weekly episode of #EarthFromSpace and on our Instagram profile at around 10:00 CET (9:00 UTC). First hint: desert.
#SatelliteImage #EarthObservation #Copernicus #Sentinel #Sentinel2 #ColourVision #desert #quiz #EarthFromSpace #MyPlanetFromSpace #Earth #contest
Copyright: contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2017), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

Lanzarote, Canaries: 
First image transmitted by means of an optic laser between the Pastel instrument on SPOT 4 and the SILEX system on the geostationary satellite Artemis. Artemis relays the images in real time to the image treatment centre Spot Image in Toulouse. Courtesy CNES/Distribution SPOT Image.
#Lanzarote #Canaries #CanaryIslands #islands #archipelago #EarthObservation #SatelliteImage #OpticLaser #Pastel #SPOT4 #satellite #SILEX #GeostationarySatellite #Artemis #SpotImage #Toulouse #France @CNES
Copyright: CNES 2001/Distribution Spot Image

The third largest island in the Mediterranean, Cyprus is about 240 km long and 100 km wide. It is located on the Anatolian plate and therefore belongs geologically to Asia, but politically it is a member of the EU. 
The Troodos mountains dominate the centre of the island and include Mount Olympus, the country’s highest mountain at 1952 m. 
Along the northern coast, the smaller Kyrenia Range rises suddenly from the plains. 
The capital and largest city, Nicosia, sits between the two mountain ranges. Since 1974 the island has been split between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot populations, with the line of separation running through the city. 
East of Nicosia lies the Mesaoria plain, which is the agricultural heartland of the island – but depends greatly on winter rainfall and irrigation, limiting its production. High summer temperatures further exacerbate the situation. Thousands of years ago the area was covered by thick forest, but most of this was cut down to provide wood for the Ptolemaic dynasty’s navy in the 1st century BC. Today, much of the plain is covered by hard-packed calcium carbonate. 
At the southernmost area of Cyprus we can see the Limassol Salt Lake, the largest inland body of water on the island. Covering over 10 sq km, the lake is an important stopover for birds migrating between Africa and Europe, with greater flamingos spending the winter months there. 
Further up the coast to the east is the seasonal Larnaca Salt Lake, which also sees flamingos. 
This image comprises two scans from the Sentinel-2A satellite on the same day: 22 December 2015.
#Copernicus #Sentinel #Sentinel2 #ColourVision #EarthObservation #island #Mediterranean #MediterraneanSea #Cyprus #AnatolianPlate #Asia #EU #Europe #TroodosMountains #Troodos #MountOlympus #Olympus #KyreniaRange #Nicosia #MesaoriaPlain #agriculture #irrigation #CalciumCarbonate #LimassolSaltLake #Limassol #SaltLake #migration #Africa #Larnaca #flamingos
Copyright: contains Copernicus Sentinel data (2015), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

This false-colour Sentinel-2A image captured on 20 August 2015 takes us to the city of Yuma in the United States, in southwestern Arizona. 
Visible in the image in scattered greys, Yuma is home to some 90 000 people. Situated along the Colorado River, the Mexican frontier lies just west of it and California lies to the north. 
The fence forming the border is visible as a fine and perfectly straight line, running from left to right through the image between the irrigation canal and the irrigated fields west of the city. Just north of the canal, a small square marks a water reservoir for irrigating the fields in this highly arid region. 
Founded in 1854, Yuma is the centre of large irrigation districts that converted parts of the desert into rich farmland. 
It is considered to be the winter vegetable capital of the US because it has some of the most fertile soil in the country, stemming from sediments deposited by the Colorado River over thousands of years. These lay the foundation for making it the third most productive in the entire US for vegetables. It is also known for wheat – two thirds is exported, mainly to Italy for producing premium pasta. 
The false-colour bands render the farmed fields in varying shades of browns and red. The circular features are created by centre-pivot irrigation, while rectangular fields use different irrigation methods that deliver the water along straight lines. 
Also visible in the image are the Yuma International Airport just south of town, and parts of the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge to the east, which protects the desert bighorn sheep, while offering hiking and camping in the rugged wilderness.
#Copernicus #Sentinel #Sentinel2 #SatelliteImage #ColourVision #EarthObservation #Yuma #UnitedStates #USA #Arizona #ColoradoRiver #MexicanFrontier #California #WaterReservoir #desert #farmland #VegetableCapital #US #vegetables #pasta #irrigation #YumaInternationalAirport #KofaNationalWildlifeRefuge #DesertBighornSheep #hiking #camping #wilderness
Copyright: Copernicus Sentinel data (2015)/ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

This image captured by the Sentinel-3A satellite on 3 March 2016 takes us over the River Nile and Delta and the surrounding desert areas of northeast Africa and parts of the Middle East. 
Very distinct is Egypt, a country connecting northeast Africa with the Middle East, home to millennia-old monuments still sitting along the lush Nile valley. 
In the centre of the image, capital city Cairo with the Nile snaking northwards is clearly visible, along with the Red Sea just further east. Also evident are the islands of Cyprus further north in the Mediterranean Sea and parts of Crete on the very left. 
Launched on 16 February 2016, Sentinel-3A systematically measures Earth’s oceans, land, ice and atmosphere to monitor and understand large-scale global dynamics. It provides essential information in near-real time for ocean and weather forecasting, among other major applications. 
Over land, this mission provides a bigger picture by monitoring wildfires, mapping the way land is used, providing indices of vegetation state and measuring the height of rivers and lakes, complementing the high-resolution measurements of its sister mission, Sentinel-2.
#Copernicus #Sentinel #Sentinel3 #OceanColour #LandColour #OLCI #satellite #SatelliteImage #EarthObservation #RiverNile #Nile #NileDelta #desert #Africa #MiddleEast #Egypt #NileValley #Cairo #RedSea #Cyprus #MediterraneanSea #Crete #Earth #oceans #land #ice #atmosphere #WeatherForecasting #wildfires #vegetation

Copyright: Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data [2016], processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

The Sentinel-2A satellite takes us over northern Namibia in this image from 18 September 2015. 
The most prominent feature is the Etosha salt pan. It is believed that a lake was first formed tens of millions of years ago. More recently – mere thousands of years ago – the Kunene River would have flowed through this area, filling the large lake before tectonic movement changed the river course. The lake then dried up, leaving behind some 4800 sq km of exposed minerals. 
Today only the Ekuma River, seen flowing down from the upper left, feeds water into the pan – but very little water actually flows in as it seeps into the riverbed. 
Part of the wider Etosha National Park, the pan is a designated Ramsar wetland of international importance. It is the only known mass breeding ground for flamingos in Namibia, seeing as many as one million flamingos at a time during the wet season when rain water forms pools in parts of the pan. 
Built-up mounds of clay and salt throughout the pan also draw animals who use them as salt licks. Animals including lions, elephants, leopards and even black rhinoceroses can be seen in the park. 
The name ‘Etosha’ means ‘great white place’ in the language of the local Ovambo tribe – and looking at the image we understand why. 
The straight lines cutting across the image are roads, and the one on the right side clearly delineates the border of the protected park to the south. On the northern side of the road, we can see agricultural structures.
#Copernicus #Sentinel #Sentinel2 #SatelliteImage #ColourVision #Namibia #Etosha #SaltPan #lake #KuneneRiver #TectonicMovement #minerals #EkumaRiver #EtoshaNationalPark #NationalPark #RamsarWetland #Ramsar #flamingos #RainWater #animals #lions #elephants #leopards #BlackRhinoceroses #GreatWhitePlace #Ovambo #roads #AgriculturalStructures
Copyright: Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data [2015], processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

National Day of Poland 
The snow-covered southern Polish city of Kraków is pictured in this image from the Kompsat-2 satellite. 
The Vistula River snakes across the top of the image. The part of the river pictured flows from west to east as it winds northwards and empties into the Baltic Sea (not visible). Kraków sits in a valley at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains and has a number of important nature reserves of great ecological value. Dubbed the European Capital of Culture in 2000, the city has an extensive cultural heritage across the epochs of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture, and is home to one of the oldest universities in the world: Jagellonian University. 
Just north of the river at the centre-left portion of the image is the medieval Old Town or historic central district. The area is home to Europe’s largest market square, along with numerous historic houses, palaces and churches. 
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1978, the Old Town was the centre of Poland’s political life until King Sigismund III Vasa moved his court to Warsaw in the late 1500s. 
This image was acquired on 5 February 2010 by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute’s Kompsat-2 satellite.
#NationalDay #Poland #PolishNationalDay #SnowCovered #PolishCity #city #Kraków #Krakow #SatelliteImage #Kompsat2 #satellite #Kompsat #VistulaRiver #BalticSea  #CarpathianMountains #NatureReserves #EcologicalValue #EuropeanCapitalOfCulture #CulturalHeritage #GothicArchitecture #RenaissanceArchitecture #BaroqueArchitecture #JagellonianUniversity #OldTown #UNESCO #WorldHeritageSite #KoreaAerospaceResearchInstitute @UNESCO
Copyright: KARI/ESA

Vanua Levu 
Taken on 25 May 2016, this Proba-V 100m false-colour image shows Fiji's second major island Vanua Levu in full glory, surrounded by coastal reefs that can be recognised by the blue-green taints. 
The Fiji islands are most well-known for their pristine beaches and majestic coral reefs, but the beauty of the these beaches and reefs is threatened by increasing amounts of micro-plastic pollution that are suspended in the ocean water and are transported by the South Pacific Gyre. 
Fiji is an archipelago of more than 330 islands, located in the Pacific Ocean at about two-thirds from Hawaii to New Zealand and intersected by the 180° meridian. It was gradually formed through volcanic activity starting 150 million years ago, with some islands still having geothermal activity.
#ProbaV #minisatellite #EarthObservation #VanuaLevu #FalseColour #satelliteImage #Fiji #CoastalReefs #CoralReef #FijiIslands #beaches #pollution #OceanWater #SouthPacificGyre #archipelago #islands #PacificOcean #VolcanicActivity #GeothermalActivity #COP23 #ClimateChange
Copyright: ESA/Belspo – produced by VITO

Viti Levu 
The Copernicus Sentinel-2B satellite takes us to the Republic of Fiji in the South Pacific Ocean on 28 September 2017. Part of Fiji’s largest island, Viti Levu, is pictured here, with coral reefs speckling the water. 
Shaped by volcanic activity and earthquakes, the centre of the island is dominated by forests and a mountain range. The highest peak, Mount Tomanivi, reaches over 1320 m and is located on the central-right side of the image. While the area east of the mountain range receives heavy rainfall, the west side pictured here is in the ‘rain shadow’, meaning that the mountains block the rain clouds, leaving this area drier than the east. 
In addition to the human population of some 600 000, one of the largest insect species also resides on Viti Levu: the giant Fijian long-horned beetle. The island is the only known home to the beetle, which grows up to about 15 cm long – excluding antennae and legs. 
With more than 300 islands, the Fijian archipelago's low-lying coastal areas are at risk of sea-level rise – a devastating consequence of climate change. Satellites carry special instruments to measure sea-level rise – but not only. Different instruments can measure different climate variables, from greenhouse gases to melting glaciers, and offer a global view of the state of our planet. 
The Republic of Fiji holds the presidency for this year’s COP 23 (Conference of the Parties) on climate, held this week and next at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change headquarters in Bonn, Germany.
#Copernicus #Sentinel #Sentinel2B #satellite #ColourVision #VitiLevu #RepublicOfFiji #Fiji #SouthPacificOcean #PacificOcean #island #CoralReefs #water #VolcanicActivity #earthquakes #forests #MountainRange #MountTomanivi #RainShadow #FijianLongHornedBeetle #beetle #FijianArchipelago #SeaLevelRise #ClimateChange #SeaLevel #GreenhouseGases #MeltingGlaciers #COP23 #climate
Copyright: contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2017), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

Today is World Freedom Day, commemorating the fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989. 
This wintery ALOS image captures the German capital city of Berlin surrounded by snow. Berlin's three airports can be seen in the image. Tegel airport, which is the long thin structure to the northwest of the centre, the old Tempelhof airport is the large hexagonal structure just south of the city and the new Brandenburg International lies to the southwest covered by snow. 
ESA supports the Japanese ALOS satellite as a Third Party Mission, which means ESA utilises its multi-mission European ground infrastructure and expertise to acquire, process and distribute data from the satellite to its wide user community.
#ALOS #SatelliteImage #GermanCapital #Germany #CapitalCity #Berlin #snow #snowbound #9November #BerlinWall #1989 #BerlinerMauer #BerlinFrei #WorldFreedomDay #FreedomDay @jaxajp #TegelAirport #TempelhofAirport #BrandenburgInternationalAirport #OnThisDay #OTD
Copyright: JAXA, ESA

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