Quantcast

17 Spectacular Images of Earth From Outer Space

Popular

Wildfires, the lowest average extent of Arctic ice, remote villages in the Sahara desert and other striking images were captured by satellites to provide a space-eye view of the Earth during June 2016, compiled by The Guardian.

As seen in the image below stagnant lakes stretch across the upper reaches of the Volga river delta in southern Russia. The lakes are trapped by sandy mounds, created after the Caspian Sea's level rose then fell in the wake of the last ice age.

Photograph: Planet

The United Kingdom captured in the image below by the European Space Agency's Sentinel-3A satellite on May 9. At top center, aircraft contrails form a cloud-like trail in the sky. At top right, snow covers southern Norway. In the southern English Channel (bottom right), an algae bloom is visible in shades of blue and green.

Photograph: Sentinel-3A/ESA

The International Space Station captures the surface of the Sahara desert. The dark patches are date and olive groves in the Bahariya oasis, one of several places in Egypt's deserts where people can live.

Photograph: ISS/NASA

The East Siberian sea is covered with ice in the fall and winter, with maximum thickness occurring between February and April. In the spring and summer, ice begins to thin and slowly thaw. In this image, taken June 4, ice has pulled away from the coastline and blue can be seen under the thinning ice.

Photograph: Modis/Aqua/NASA

The mountains in Mailuu-Suu in southern Kyrgyzstan, labeled as one of the world's critically polluted areas, are home to radioactive dumps—the product of former Soviet uranium tailing mines.

Photograph: Planet

Lake Tengiz, is the only large lake (615 square miles) in northern Kazakhstan and is visible from space. The lake's island and waterways create a habitat suitable for 318 species of identified birds, 22 of which are endangered. Lake Tengiz is the northernmost habitat of the pink flamingo.

The lake is Kazakhstan's first UNESCO world heritage site.

Photograph: ISS/NASA

This map created by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows the surface temperature of the oceans surrounding North America. The movement of warm water north through the Gulf Stream is clearly displayed.

Photograph: NOAA

Arctic sea ice, or the lack of it, can be seen in this picture taken in May. This year has set a record low for the average extent of sea ice in the history of data collection. May 2016's average extent was 224,000 square miles below the previous record for the month, set in 2004.

Photograph: Suomi NPP/NASA/NOAA

Snow blankets the mountain peaks in south central Alaska. The mountain range closest to the coast is made up of the Chugach and Kenai mountains in the east and west, respectively. A warm winter and an early, warm spring has created a high fire risk across Alaska.

Photograph: Modis/Aqua/NASA

Rome's Lake Albano in the pictures bottom right corner is south of the town of Frascati.

Photograph: Sentinel-2A/ESA

Sleeping Bear Dunes national lakeshore in Michigan and its two nearby islands can be seen in the picture below. The U.S. National Park Service uses images like this one to monitor landscape changes over time.

Photograph: OLI/Landsat 8/NASA

A dust storm passes over the Red Sea, a common sight in the area. Gaps in nearby mountain ranges create pathways through which wind carries dust and sand toward the sea. The dust is usually deposited into the sea, providing an important supply of nutrients to the Red Sea.

Photograph: Modis/Aqua/NASA

Plumes of smoke rise from dozens of large wildfires north-east of Krasnoyarsk in north-central Russia in late June. Many of the fires were triggered by lightning storms. The first are located in isolated areas and do not post threats to population centers.

Photograph: Modis/Aqua/NASA

A string of wildfires burns in the Sierra Madre mountain forests of western Mexico. Human activities cause an estimated 97 percent of the wildfires, with agricultural and livestock production activity causing 54 percent.

Photograph: VIIRS/Suomi NPP/NASA/NOAA

Urban Auckland, New Zealand, rests on an ancient volcanic field. Maars (shallow water-filled craters) and cinder cones intermingle with suburban housing developments and city green spaces.

Photograph: Planet

This image of Greece, Turkey and Libya shows their distinct environments. In the middle of the image is the Greek island of Crete, dominated by harsh mountains rising out of the sea, along with natural harbors, coastal plains and the typical Mediterranean scrub. North-west of Crete is a large part of Greece's mainland, showing dense vegetation and agricultural landscape. Top right is part of south-western Turkey with a mixture of agricultural landscape and mountainous regions, where bare soil and rock formations prevail. At the bottom of the image is Libya's arid desert, with the Saharan plateau comprising some nine-tenths of the country.

Photograph: Sentinel-3A/ESA

Streaks of volcanic ash stream from Mount Sourabaya on Bristol Island, one of the remote islands between Antartica and South America, following an eruption that started in late April and continued through mid-June—the first known activity at this volcano since 1956.

Photograph: Modis/NASA

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

An aerial view of a neighborhood destroyed by the Camp Fire on Nov. 15, 2018 in Paradise, Calif. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Respecting scientists has never been a priority for the Trump Administration. Now, a new investigation from The Guardian revealed that Department of the Interior political appointees sought to play up carbon emissions from California's wildfires while hiding emissions from fossil fuels as a way to encourage more logging in the national forests controlled by the Interior department.

Read More
Slowing deforestation, planting more trees, and cutting emissions of non-carbon dioxide greenhouse gases like methane could cut another 0.5 degrees C or more off global warming by 2100. South_agency / E+ / Getty Images

By Dana Nuccitelli

Killer hurricanes, devastating wildfires, melting glaciers, and sunny-day flooding in more and more coastal areas around the world have birthed a fatalistic view cleverly dubbed by Mary Annaïse Heglar of the Natural Resources Defense Council as "de-nihilism." One manifestation: An increasing number of people appear to have grown doubtful about the possibility of staving-off climate disaster. However, a new interactive tool from a climate think tank and MIT Sloan shows that humanity could still meet the goals of the Paris agreement and limit global warming.

Read More
Sponsored
A baby burrowing owl perched outside its burrow on Marco Island, Florida. LagunaticPhoto / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Burrowing owls, which make their homes in small holes in the ground, are having a rough time in Florida. That's why Marco Island on the Gulf Coast passed a resolution to pay residents $250 to start an owl burrow in their front yard, as the Marco Eagle reported.

Read More
Amazon and other tech employees participate in the Global Climate Strike on Sept. 20, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. Amazon Employees for Climate Justice continue to protest today. Karen Ducey / Getty Images

Hundreds of Amazon workers publicly criticized the company's climate policies Sunday, showing open defiance of the company following its threats earlier this month to fire workers who speak out on climate change.

Read More
Locusts swarm from ground vegetation as people approach at Lerata village, near Archers Post in Samburu county, approximately 186 miles north of Nairobi, Kenya on Jan. 22. "Ravenous swarms" of desert locusts in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia threaten to ravage the entire East Africa subregion, the UN warned on Jan. 20. TONY KARUMBA / AFP / Getty Images

East Africa is facing its worst locust infestation in decades, and the climate crisis is partly to blame.

Read More