Amazing Images of Cities from Space
When the European Space Agency (ESA) isn’t busy looking at the sky, they like to turn their lenses around facing us and snap a few (thousand) images of Earth. That’s how they provided us with numerous stunning views of our planet’s geography, but also plenty of great shots offering us a unique top-down look from space at some of the world’s greatest cities.
New York City
The image shows most of New York City along with parts of New Jersey. All five boroughs are visible with Manhattan in the center flanked by the East and Hudson rivers. A notable feature in the middle of Manhattan is the large, rectangle space occupied by Central Park which stretches over 340 hectares of land.
One of the largest and oldest cities in Africa, the capital of Egypt is notable for being situated on the banks of the Nile. The river is also responsible for the sharp geographical contrast. The areas surrounding the Nile are green and fertile, thriving in an otherwise-arid desert region.
This image taken by the Korean Kompsat-2 satellite shows the eastern part of Mexico City. The upper right region used to be occupied by Lake Texcoco before it was drained which today stands in sharp contrast to the densely-populated areas of the city. Prominent in the image is Lake Nabor Carrillo.
This image shows us how isolated Las Vegas is, surrounded by mountain ranges in the Mojave Desert. Next to the city, in the center of the image is the largest reservoir in the United States, Lake Mead, primarily supported by the Colorado river.
There are several noteworthy landmarks that can be seen in this image: the port, one of the largest in Europe, the Garraf Massif mountain range, as well as the long coastline to the Mediterranean that has made Barcelona one of the most popular tourist spots in the world.
Known as the Floating City, Venice is known for its extensive canal system that is clearly visible in this image. To the north we can see a square island named San Michele that used to be a prison until it was transformed into a cemetery by Napoleon.
Agricultural regions look very strange from above thanks to their grid-like patterns. This particular region is known as the Imperial Valley in California that stretches all the way into Mexico. Several towns and cities are also visible in the image, including Westmorland, Calipatria and Ramer.
Located in French Polynesia, Niau is an atoll – a coral island that partially or completely encircles a lagoon (completely in this case). The island creates a beautiful contrast between the water of the lagoon and the surrounding Pacific Ocean. Niau is home to the small village of Tupana, the only human settlement on the island, as well as the Niau kingfisher, a bird that can only be found on this island.
This image features a section of the city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Right in the center is the Burj Khalifa lake, home of the largest choreographed fountain system in the world. Right next to it is the famous Burj Khalifa skyscraper, the tallest building in the world.
One of the oldest and largest cities in Europe, Rome was built along the shores of the Tiber River featured prominently in the center of the image. In the bottom right corner lies the city’s most iconic landmark, the Colosseum.