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China's first high-resolution satellite captured these 10 incredible images

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Back in April 2013, China launched its first satellite with high-resolution imaging capabilities up into space. That satellite made some news today when the country's space agency said that authorities had used its imagery to detect illegal border crossings and even to bust marijuana farmers. The imagery is pretty impressive, and China presented a good look at it just over a week ago, releasing 10 detailed images that it's taken since launch.

The satellite, Gaofen-1, is the first of several that China plans to put up into space. In fact, it just launched the Gaofen-2 last week. In particular, Gaofen-1 was sent up for the purpose of monitoring the land and helping in the event of a disaster.

Below, you can see the 10 images that the China National Space Administration published earlier this month. They're in false color — so they simultaneously look both alien and incredible, but you can usually expect that vegetation will show up as red, water will show up as blue, and dirt will show up as shades of gray.


Dried river valleys cut between mountains. The red and brown tones represent different types of vegetation.

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