Satellite Image of Wadi Rum “Valley of the Moon”

satellite image wadi rum valley of the moonPleiades-1A (0.5m) Satellite Image of Wadi Rum “The Valley of the Moon” – Jordan

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Copyright © ASTRIUM and Courtesy of Satellite Imaging Corporation. All Rights reserved.

Wadi Rum “The Valley of the Moon” is a valley cut into the sandstone and granite rock in southern Jordan 60 km (37 mi) to the east of Aqaba; it is the largest wadi in Jordan. Wadi Rum has been inhabited by many human cultures since prehistoric times, with many cultures–including the Nabateans–leaving their mark in the form of rock paintings, graffiti, and temples.

The highest elevation in Wadi Rum is Mount Um Dami at 1,840 m (6,040 ft) high, second highest Jabal Rum 1,734 metres (5,689 ft) above sea level and third Khaz’ali Canyon is the site of petroglyphs etched into the cave walls depicting humans and antelopes dating back to the Thamudic times. The village of Wadi Rum itself consists of several hundred Bedouin inhabitants with their goat-hair tents and concrete houses and also their four wheel vehicles, one school for boys and one for girls, a few shops, and the headquarters of the Desert Patrol. Read more on Wadi Rum….

wadi rum

Satellite Image of Nazca Lines in Peru

satellite image nazca line peruPleiades-1B (0.5m) Satellite Image Nazca Lines in Peru

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Copyright © ASTRIUM and Courtesy of Satellite Imaging Corporation. All rights reserved.

The Nazca Lines are a series of ancient geoglyphs located in the Nazca Desert in southern Peru. They were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. The high, arid plateau stretches more than 80 kilometres (50 mi) between the towns of Nazca and Palpa on the Pampas de Jumana about 400 km south of Lima. Although some local geoglyphs resemble Paracas motifs, scholars believe the Nazca Lines were created by the Nazca culture between 400 and 650 AD. The hundreds of individual figures range in complexity from simple lines to stylized hummingbirds, spiders, monkeys, fish, sharks, orcas, and lizards.

The lines are shallow designs made in the ground by removing the reddish pebbles and uncovering the whitish/grayish ground beneath. Hundreds are simple lines or geometric shapes; more than seventy are zoomorphic designs of animals such as birds, fish, llamas, jaguar, monkey, or human figures. Other designs include phytomorphic shapes such as trees and flowers. The largest figures are over 200 metres (660 ft) across. Scholars differ in interpreting the purpose of the designs, but in general they ascribe religious significance to them. Read more about the Nazca Lines.

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Satellite Image Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania

Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania SPOT-6 (1.5m) Satellite Image of Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania, Africa

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Copyright © ASTRIUM and Courtesy of Satellite Imaging Corporation. All rights reserved.

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area covers 8,292 square kilometers. It is one of the three divisions that comprise Ngorongoro District in Arusha Region.

NCA was established in 1959 by the NCA Ordinance No 413 of 1959 as a multiple land use area, designated to promote the conservation of natural resources, safeguard the interests of NCA indigenous residents and promote tourism. NCA is a unique protected area in the whole of Africa where conservation of natural resources in integrated with human development.

The main feature of the NCA include the Ngorongoro Crater, The Serengeti Plains that support about 2.0 millions migratory wildlife species of the Serengeti Mara-ecosystem (TAWIRI, 2003) and the catchment forest; the Northern Highland Forest Reserve (NHFR) known as ‘Entim Olturot’ in Maa language. Other important features found in the NCA are the archaeological and palaeontological site located at Oldupai Gorge and the early human foot-prints that were discovered at Alaitole in Ngarusi area. Because of these particular features and the harmonious co-existence between wildlife and people that has existed for many years, NCA was accorded the status of a World Heritage Site and listed as one of the International Biosphere Reserve by the UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere Reserve Programme. Source: Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority


Ngorongoro Crater Panorama

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Satellite Image of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia

satellite image great barrier reefWorldview-2 (0.5m) Satellite Image of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia

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Copyright © DigitalGlobe and Courtesy of Satellite Imaging Corporation. All rights reserved.

Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 2,600 kilometres (1,600 mi) over an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometres (133,000 sq mi). The reef is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland, Australia.

The Great Barrier Reef can be seen from outer space in the above satellite image from the Worldview-2 satellite and is the world’s biggest single structure made by living organisms. This reef structure is composed of and built by billions of tiny organisms, known as coral polyps. It supports a wide diversity of life and was selected as a World Heritage Site in 1981. CNN labeled it one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The Queensland National Trust named it a state icon of Queensland.

A large part of the reef is protected by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which helps to limit the impact of human use, such as fishing and tourism. Other environmental pressures on the reef and its ecosystem include runoff, climate change accompanied by mass coral bleaching, and cyclic population outbreaks of the crown-of-thorns starfish. According to a study published in October 2012 by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the reef has lost more than half its coral cover since 1985. Read more on the Great Barrier Reef.

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great barrier reefImage credit: Qualia

Satellite Images of Impact Craters and Structures

Vredefort Crater, AfricaSatellite Image of Vredefort Crater, South Africa

Largest Impact Crater Found Around the World

300 km and 2.023 Billion Years

Coordinates – 27°0′S 27°30′E

Vredefort crater is the largest verified impact crater on Earth, more than 300 km across. It is located in the Free State Province of South Africa and named after the town of Vredefort, which is situated near its centre. The site is also known as the Vredefort Dome or Vredefort impact structure. In 2005 the Vredefort Dome was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites for its geologic interest.

The asteroid that hit Vredefort is estimated to have been one of the largest ever to strike Earth (at least since the Hadean eon some four billion years ago). The asteroid is thought to have been approximately 5–10 km (3.1–6.2 mi) in diameter. The bolide that created the Sudbury Basin could have been even larger. The Vredefort Crater’s age is estimated to be 2.023 billion years (± 4 million years), which places it in the Paleoproterozoic era. It is the second-oldest known crater on Earth, a little less than 300 million years younger than the Suavjärvi Crater in Russia. In comparison, it is about 10% older than the Sudbury Basin impact (at 1.849 billion years). More information on the Vredefort Crater, visit here.

For more information and to view more impact craters, visit here.

Satellite Images and Photos of Impact Craters and Structures Around the World

Credit: NASA/GeoEye/DigitalGlobe and Courtesy of Satellite Imaging Corp. All rights reserved

Satellite Image of Nikumaroro Island – Amelia Earhart’s Final Destination?

satellite image nikumaroro-islandIKONOS (1m) Satellite Image of Nikumaroro Island (Gardner Island) in the Republic of Kiribati

(Copyright © DigitalGlobe and Courtesy of Satellite Imaging Corporation. All Rights Reserved.)

New evidence reported by The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR), a non-profit foundation promoting aviation archaeology and historic aircraft preservation shows that Amelia Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan possibly landed and eventually died on Gardner Island, now Nikumaroro in the Republic of Kiribati.

TIGHAR concluded that 57 of the 120 signals reported at the time are credible, triangulating Earhart’s position to have been Nikumaroro Island. Reports show that Amelia Earhart radioed their position, then landed on a reef at uninhabited Gardner Island, a small coral atoll now known as Nikumaroro Island that might have caused the “Electra” to be swept away and that they lived for a time as castaways only to eventually perish on the uninhabited island.

Other evidence and artifacts found years ago on the island include broken glass, large numbers of fish, bird and turtle bones, several hundred mollusk shells, bone fragments, cosmetic jar, dried fecal matter that might be of human origin and a possible landing gear.

The Disappearance

Amelia Earhart the first woman and the second person to solo the Atlantic was last heard from on July 2, 1937. Earhart and Noonan, low on fuel and unable to find their next scheduled stopping point Howland Island, flew into overcast skies and intermittent rain showers. This made Noonan’s premier method of tracking and celestial navigation difficult. Earhart radioed the USCGC Itasca and was sent a stream of transmissions but she could not hear them. Her radio transmissions, irregular through most of the flight, were faint or interrupted with static. The ship tried to reply, but the plane seemed not to hear. At 8:45 Earhart reported, “We are on the line 157 337 …. We are running on line north and south.” Nothing further was heard from Earhart.

A rescue attempt commenced immediately and became the most extensive air and sea search in naval history. On July 19, after spending $4 million and scouring 250,000 square miles of ocean, the United States government reluctantly called off the operation. In 1938, a lighthouse was constructed on Howland Island in her memory.

The expedition is on-going and TIGHAR researchers will return to the area to search for the famous aircraft “Electra” that was believed to have been swept off a Pacific reef in 1937.

More about Amelia Earhart, visit here.

To read more on Amelia Earhart Project, visit here.

Watch an ABC News video here.

Satellite Image in Mount Ararat 3D Movie

mount araratASTER (15m) Satellite Image of Mountains of Ararat, Turkey in 3D Movie

(Image Credit: NASA/Japanese Space Team)

Mount Ararat (16,940 feet, 5165 m) the largest volcano in Turkey. Ararat consists of two volcanic peaks: Big Ararat (5137 m) and Little Ararat (3,914m). The top of Big Ararat is covered with snow all year long. The Old Testament story of Noah says that Noah’ ark came to rest on Ararat following the Great Flood. This image is a 3-D perspective view looking from the southwest, created by draping a simulated natural color image over an ASTER-derived digital topography model. Although not currently active, its most recent eruption has probably been within the last 10,000 years. It is located in extreme northeastern Turkey, near the borders with Iran and Armenia. A number of claims by different explorers said to have found remnants of Noah’s Ark on Mt. Ararat have led to continuing expeditions to the mountain, many of which have focused their searches on the gorge area. More information on Mt. Ararat, visit here.

The anomaly itself, which lies surrounded by rugged strato-volcanic rock at the northwestern corner of Mt. Ararat’s western plateau, is over 980 feet long, and sits mostly buried underneath a permanent glacier. It first drew attention due to its relatively smooth surface texture, as well as its unusual physical composition. To read more on Mt. Ararat Anomaly, visit here.


Satellite Image of Canadian Rocky Mountain Trench

satellite-image-canadian-rocky_mountainsLandsat (15m) Satellite Image of the Canadian Rockies, Rocky Mountain Trench

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Image credit: NASA/USGS and Courtesy of Satellite Imaging Corporation

What appears to be a stroke of thick red paint is actually a remarkable interplay of light and cloud in the Canadian Rocky Mountain Trench, a valley that extends from Montana, USA, to just south of the Yukon Territory. Low clouds filled a part of the Trench near the border between the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. The light-reflecting nature of the clouds coupled with low sun elevation resulted in this startling effect. To read more on the Canadian Rockies, visit here.

canadian rockies

Satellite Images of Ancient Sites and Civilizations

Satellite images have become increasingly important tools for archaeologists, as these systems link information to precisely calibrated physical locations, and integrate information drawn from multiple sources. The usefulness of satellite images for identifying and analyzing ancient sites and civilizations was recognized from the early days of aviation and imagery is now available from an array of high resolution satellite sensors that provide even greater potential for investigating and mapping archaeological sites.

GeoEye-1 (0.5m) Satellite Image of Leptis Magna Roman Ruins, Al khums, Libya

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(Image credit: DigitalGlobe and Courtesy of Satellite Imaging Corporation)

satellite image leptis_magna roman ruins libya

Leptis Magna was a prominent city of the Roman Empire. Its ruins are located in Khoms, Libya, east of Tripoli, on the coast where the Wadi Lebda meets the sea. The site is one of the most spectacular and unspoiled Roman ruins in the Mediterranean. More information on Leptis Manga Roman Ruins, visit here.


IKONOS (1m) Satellite Image of Teotihuacan Pyramids, Mexico

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(Image credit: DigitalGlobe and Courtesy of Satellite Imaging Corporation)

"Space Imaging"

Rising 20 stories above the central Mexican highlands, the pyramids of Teotihuacan (pronounced tay-oh-tee-wah-con) were central to Toltec learning and culture. The city, about the size of ancient Athens and Rome, was abandoned about 1500 years ago. Some believe the city was attacked by an invading army, such as the Toltecs, while newer evidence points to an internal, class-based struggle.

Using an advanced understanding of mathematics, geometry and astronomy, the Toltecs built the largest pyramid, “The Pyramid of the Sun,” with an alignment to coincide with the two days (May 19th and July 25th) when the sun would be directly over the top of the pyramid at noon. This would also create an alignment to the east toward the rising sun and to the west for the setting sun. This pyramid has a base only 10 feet shorter on each side than the Great Pyramid of Cheops in Egypt. More information on Teotihuacan Pyramids, visit here.

QuickBird (0.6m) Satellite Image  of the Great Pyramids of Giza, Egypt

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Copyright © DigitalGlobe and Courtesy of Satellite Imaging Corporation. All rights reserved.

satellite image giza pyramids egypt

Pleiades (0.5m) Satellite Image of The Pyramids of Meroe in Sudan

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Copyright © ASTRIUM and Courtesy of Satellite Imaging Corporation. All rights reserved.

satellite image pyramids of meroe sudan


Satellite Image of Rakaia River in New Zealand

satellite image Rakaia River New ZealandWorldView-2 (0.5m) Satellite Image of Rakaia River, New Zealand 

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(Image Copyright DigitalGlobe and Courtesy of Satellite Imaging Corporation)

The Rakaia River is in the Canterbury Plains in New Zealand’s South Island. The Rakaia River is one of the largest braided rivers in New Zealand.

Close to Mount Hutt, however, it is briefly confined to a narrow canyon known as the Rakaia Gorge.   In the 1850s, European settlers named it the Cholmondeley River, but this name lapsed into disuse.   The Rakaia River is bridged in two places. The busiest crossing is at the small town of Rakaia, 20 kilometres from the river mouth, where State Highway 1 and the South Island Main Trunk Railway cross the river using separate bridges. These two bridges are New Zealand’s longest road and rail bridges respectively, approximately 1.75 km long. A second bridge, much shorter and less used, spans the Rakaia Gorge.

The Rakaia River is a celebrated Chinook salmon fishery. The Rakaia is known for its large wrybill population which represents 73 percent of the total population. Other important bird species known to be found in the Rakaia riverbed are Wrybill, Black fronted Tern and Banded Dotterel.