During a span of 40 years, since 1972, the Landsat series of Earth observation satellites has become a vital reference worldwide for understanding scientific issues related to land use and natural resources.
Beyond the scientific information they supply, some Landsat images are simply striking to look at, presenting spectacular views of mountains, valleys and islands, as well as forests, grasslands and agricultural patterns. By selecting certain features and colouring them from a digital palate, the US Geological Survey has created a series of ‘Earth as Art’ perspectives that demonstrate an artistic resonance in satellite land imagery and provide a special avenue of insight about the geography of each scene.
Nasa asked the public to vote on their favourite images from the more than 120 images in the online “Earth as Art” collection – and received over 14 000 votes.
This image of the Yukon Delta taken by Landsat 7 came 2nd. The image was acquired on 22 September 2002.
Countless lakes, sloughs, and ponds are scattered throughout this scene of the Yukon Delta in southwest Alaska. One of the largest river deltas in the world, and protected as part of the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge, the river’s sinuous waterways seem like blood vessels branching out to enclose an organ.
Image credit: Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Centre/USGS