10 Years of Gorgeous Images of Earth From Space from the 8-ton Envisat satellite.
- This Envisat image highlights the Ganges Delta, the world’s largest delta, in the South Asia area of Bangladesh (visible) and India. The delta plain, about 350-km wide along the Bay of Bengal, is formed by the confluence of the rivers Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna. As radar images represent surface backscatter rather than reflected light, there is no color in a standard radar image. This image was created by combining three Envisat Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar acquisitions (Jan. 20, 2009, Feb. 24, 2009 and March 31, 2009) taken over the same area. The colors in the image result from variations in the surface that occurred between acquisitions.
- In this Envisat image, acquired on Dec. 2, 2011, a phytoplankton bloom swirls a figure-of-8 in the South Atlantic Ocean about 600 km east of the Falkland Islands. Different types and quantities of phytoplankton exhibit different colors, such as the blues and greens in this image. Earth-observing satellites like Envisat can monitor these algal blooms. Once a bloom begins, an ocean color sensor can make an initial identification of its chlorophyll pigment, and therefore its species and toxicity.
- This Envisat image captures Asia’s diverse topography, altitude and climate with the snow-sprinkled Himalayan Mountains marking the barrier between the peaks of the Tibetan Plateau (top) in Central Asia and the plains of Nepal, Buthan and India in the Indian subcontinent. In this false-color image, lush or green vegetation appears bright red. This image was acquired by Envisat’s Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) instrument on Feb. 20, 2009, working in Full Resolution mode to provide a spatial resolution of 300 m.