Earth from space: five stunning pictures
As satellites orbit our planet, they are constantly casting an eye upon us, snapping image after image of what is going on below.
Nasa has a large collection of these images, which are frequently updated and available to view on its Earth Observation website.
Recently, there have been some particularly striking images, so I thought I’d pull some of them together in a blog and share them with you.
Three major hurricanes in Pacific Ocean
The image below, captured on 2 September, shows three storms, Kilo, Jimena and Ignacio, in the Pacific Ocean.
This is the first time on record that three major hurricanes have been witnessed in the same ocean basin at the same time.
There is no doubt that El Nino, causing much warmer average than normal sea temperatures, has played a part in this happening – providing an abundance of energy on which these storms thrive.
Smoke over the Bohai Sea
The picture below, taken on 13 August, shows a dark plume of smoke drifting over the Bohai Sea off the east coast of China.
Dust over the western Sahara
The image below from 7 August shows a plume of dust blowing off the western Sahara desert, moving out across the eastern Atlantic Ocean.
This is not the only factor to have impeded the development of hurricanes in the Atlantic this year, with El Nino creating unfavourable wind patterns high up in the atmosphere that tear storms apart.
The image below, taken from aboard the International Space Station on 5 August, shows Typhoon Soudelor heading towards Taiwan.
Soudelor went on to cause loss of life in Taiwan and China, as damaging winds and torrential rain caused flash flooding.
North America’s highest peak
The image below, captured on 15 June, shows North America’s renamed highest peak, Denali.
Its new official elevation is 6,190 metres, around 3 metres shorter than the old elevation that had been determined in the 1950s.