Iran’s Qeshm Island, the largest island in the Persian Gulf, lying just a few kilometres off the Iranian coast near the narrow Strait of Hormuz, which separates the Persian Gulf to the west and the Gulf of Oman to the southeast. Qeshm Island harbours the Hara Biosphere Reserve, the largest stretch of mangrove forest along the Persian Gulf shoreline. This network of shallow waterways and forest can be clearly seen in the image, between Qeshm Island and the mainland. 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.