Spectacular Landscapes Captured by the European Space Agency

Mississippi River Delta from space
Mississippi River Delta, October 3, 2011

Appreciating beauty sometimes is all about a matter of perspective. This fact could not be truer when it comes to appreciating the beauty of Earth’s landscape.  From a vantage point from the ground, one can survey many breathtaking panoramas and vistas. However, seen from up in the sky, the earth’s visuals are absolutely stunning and spectacular to behold. Such images of our planet are taken from an outer space perspective daily by The European Space Agency.

Peruvian landscape from space
Peruvian landscape, May 4, 2011

The European Space Agency or ESA is an intergovernmental organization that is committed to the exploration of space. The organization has 20 member states and was founded in 1975.  The ESA is headquartered in Paris, France, and employs a staff of more than 2,000 with an annual budget of approximately US$5.51 billion, as of 2013.

Northwestern Crete from space
Northwestern Crete, compilation of images taken August 28 and October 13, 2010

The ESA’s Earth Observation missions are at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is found in Darmstadt, Germany, science missions emanate from ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) which trains astronauts for future missions is located in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is situated in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

Swirling cloud art in the Atlantic Ocean from space
Swirling cloud art in the Atlantic Ocean, June 6, 2010

Mapping experts as well as Cartographers can instantly identify and locate streets, structures, buildings, and land formations when they see these images taken from outer space.  However, to the untrained eye, the images look more like abstract paintings made-up of rich, deep colors. Metropolis roads are turned into geometric patterns, majestic mountains and valleys look more like swirling webs entangled, and blue seas look like liquid being mixed in a giant cauldron. It is truly amazing how aerial views and vast distances can change the appearance of the planet.

The Island of Elba, Italy from space
The Island of Elba, Italy, compilation of images taken November 29, 2008, February 7, 2009 and August 21, 2010

Large mega cities occupy merely a fraction of a photo, while bodies of water seem to go on and on. Theses astounding images from The European Space Agency remind us of how beautiful and unique our planet is, and how each of us are merely fragments in the scheme of all things.

Virunga Mountains from space
Virunga Mountains, compilation of images taken March 27 2003, January 5, 2006 and August 12, 2010
Plentiful plankton from space
Plentiful plankton, August 19, 2009
Rainforest river, Brazil from space
Rainforest river, Brazil, compilation of images captured on January 2, February 1 and March 3, 2012

See the amazing images from the ESA here.

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Patricia Ramos

Patricia Ramos

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.