• Cape Peninsula, Western Cape, South Africa

    Date:18 July 2012 Tags:, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    A radar image captures the Western Cape, with the curved Peninsula jutting into the Atlantic Ocean. This image was created by combining three Envisat Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar acquisitions (3 June 2010, 29 April 2010 and 25 March 2010) taken over the same area. The colours in the image result from changes in the surface that occurred between acquisitions. Image credit: European Space Agency

    Launched in 2002, the European Space Agency’s Envisat Earth observation satellite is the largest Earth observation spacecraft ever built. Envisat is now retiring after 10 magnificent years – double its planned mission lifetime.

    In this wallpaper collection, we feature a very small sample of the formidably large collection of images captured by the eight-ton satellite – equipped with 10 sophisticated optical and radar instruments – in more than 50 000 orbits, together with images from ESA’s so-called “Third Party” missions. Envisat has contributed immeasurably to our knowledge of Earth, its weather patterns, oceans, atmosphere, environmental challenges and myriad other processes.