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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
See the amazing images from the ESA here.