Satellites Offer Fresh Perspective on Our Planet

By: Stephen Thompson | Last updated: Nov 03, 2023

Many of us gaze into the starry night sky and wonder what lies outside the earth’s atmosphere. However, while you may not all have the privilege of boarding a Falcon 9 rocket or a NASA space shuttle, you can still have exciting glimpses into space.

Manmade satellites have ruled space since the first one was launched in 1945. Over the years, several satellites have provided earth dwellers with high-definition images of space. Let us go earth-gazing from the comfort of our homes.

A Hurricane Caught Snicking

The Islands of the Caribbean and its occupants are quite used to having occasional tsunamis and hurricanes. However, the year 2019 brought a different narrative. On the first day of September that year, what came to be named Hurricane Dorian landed on the Caribbean shores.

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Source: Wikimedia Commons

With winds up to 175 miles, Hurricane Dorian went down on record as the most severe cyclone to hit that region. Hurricane Dorian is here captured by the satellite, Copernicus Sentinel-3.

Checking Out Your Neighbour’s Farmland

The Middle East is largely seen as an agricultural barren desert. However, by virtue of some innovative irrigation systems, Saudi Arabia has become agriculturally sustainable.

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Source: Wikimedia Commons

This image is not some circular patterns drawn by a high-schooler but a satellite image of irrigated farms in Saudi Arabia’s Al Jawf Region. The satellite responsible for the image is the Japanese Hodoyoshi-1.

An Ocean Observatory In the Sky

One would think the land features of planet Earth are the only aspect that could be monitored from space. However, satellites have since been providing detailed information about some ocean features, like reef growth and depletion.

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Source: Wikimedia Commons

In yet another image of Europe’s Copernicus Sentinel-3, we see the Whitsun Reef of South China. This beautiful reef off the coast of China was submerged in the sea up until the 1990s.

Watching the Formation of New Lands

The solid crust of the earth was largely a product of volcanic activities. In fact, global maps get updated regularly as some active volcanoes give birth to new islands in the middle of the sea.

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Source: Wikimedia Commons

Something similar has been happening since 1927, when Anak Krakatau first erupted. Anak Krakatau is an Indonesian volcanic island that has been changing form since it became active.

Tracking Down A Culprit of Climate Change

The Industrial boom has been fingered as one of the foremost causes of climate change. Also, climate experts have admitted that wildfires are likewise culpable. The hot weather in some regions of Australia makes it occur there as a natural disaster.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

However, California has become a recent show stealer of wildfire breakouts. In this image, the vast expanse of the over 150,000 acres devastated in 2018 can be seen.

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A Template of Grand Town Planning

A casual look at this image may leave you thinking it contains well-arranged pieces of Lego. Besides the unique blend of Gothic and modern architecture in this coastal city, we ought to give kudos to Pedro Martín Cermeño, the designer of the initial city layout.

Source: Reddit

It takes an image like this, taken from space, to appreciate the ingenuity of Barcelona’s designers over the years.

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A Junction That Goes Twelve Ways

The city of Paris seems to revolve around the Arc de Triomphe. This monument is located in the very middle of the Place Charles De Gaulle junction. However, from space, it is easy to see that 12 different roads lead to that junction.

Source: Reddit

It must have taken a whole lot of effort for the architects that planned Paris to achieve synergy.

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Zooming Out To See the Lungs of New York City

People living in the suburb can testify to how much benefit comes with having some extra space on your residential property. The garden, lawn, and other greeneries you start in such spaces tend to have immeasurable benefits.

Source: Pinterest

Central Park, New York City, plays a similar role in the life of the average New Yorker. Every inch of plot designated for real estate in the city has been dominated by skyscrapers. Also, the Park acts as the city’s carbon sponge.

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A City That Lights the Night Sky

If you are to view the Earth from outer space, the side facing the sun looks like a glowing ball. However, the planet’s rotation causes a side to be plunged into darkness in a cycle of 12 hours.

Source: Pinterest

Viewing New York City from space during those 12 hours of darkness will remind you that it’s a city that never sleeps. The city’s lights flood the sky and make you reminisce about the floodlights used at unofficial field parties.

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