From above, the Vatnajokull Glacier is an eerie splash of blue against the florid hues of the surrounding landscape. This image of Iceland's Skaftafell National Park was taken by a satellite miles above the Earth. It's beautiful and also just one of the many geographical wonders showcased in the Earth as Art collection.
Unlike most of the satellite images captured by the Landsat 7 satellite, these were taken for their aesthetic value and not for scientific purposes. The color-enhanced photographs not only reveal a view of the planet few will ever see but also a glimpse of natural phenomenons like a giant whirlpool cloud parked above the sea between Spain and Morocco.
The entire Earth as Art collection is free to download from Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center Image Gallery. It's also possible to purchase printed copies of the satellite images from the US Geological Survey store.
- Dasht-e Kevir, October 1st, 2000. The Great Salt Desert is the largest in Iran.
- Aleutian Clouds, June 1st, 2000. These are cloud formations that manifested above the western Aleutian Islands.
- Bogda Mountains, September 1st, 1999. A mix of salt lakes and sand dunes, the Turpan Depression lies below sea level.
- Edrengiyn Nuruu, August 1st, 1999. This area sits between the Mongolian steppes and the deserts of northern China.
- Rugged Terrain, April 28th, 2001. This is the mountainous terrain of eastern Afghanistan.
- Meandering Mississippi, May 28th, 2003. The Mississippi is the largest river system in North America.
- Whirlpool in the Air, May 1st, 2001. This is a spinning mix of ice, clouds and low-lying fog that took form off the eastern coast of Greenland.
- The Syrian Desert, January 1st, 1999. This sprawling desert covers parts of modern Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq.
- Malaspina Glacier, August 1st, 2000. This massive glacier is the largest in Alaska.
- Kamchatka Peninsula, February 17th, 2002. Kamchatka Peninsula's volcanic terrain sits hidden under the icy blues of the glaciers and snow.
- Demini River, January 1st, 1999. The Demini River in northwestern Brazil is connected to the Amazon River.
- Bolivian Deforestation, August 1st, 2000. The deforestation of the Amazon basin is starkly illustrated with pinks and blues.
- Rocky Mountain Trench, February 1st, 2004. The Rocky Mountain Trench stretches from Montana, USA to just south of the Yukon territory.
- The Himalayas, January 1st, 1999. The reds in this image are rivers snaking through the snow-capped mountains.
- The Andes, October 28th, 2001. This shows where the Atacama Desert meets the Andes.