20 Breathtaking Images Of The Earth As Seen From Space

From a Medieval palace in Syria to a giant rubber duck floating in Hong Kong, DigitalGlobe features its best satellite imagery of the year

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Digital Globe, a provider of commercial satellite pictures, gathers 1 billion square kilometers of Earth imagery every year. That’s nearly enough to cover the globe twice — and some of it is downright beautiful. Several years ago, employees at the Colorado-based organization decided to pick their favorite to share Earth’s beauty with the public. This year, they’ve collected 20 awe-inspiring scenes, and they want you to pick your favorite of the bunch.

Their picks can be seen above, and you can vote for your favorite on DigitalGlobe’s Facebook page.

More Photography from Time

9 comments
Hady
Hady

Aleppo city  ♥ ♥ ♥

MarkHeil
MarkHeil

Perspective is hard to see on some of these.  It looks like the Colorado river is elevated.

blair_houghton
blair_houghton

The Doha one is labeled inaccurately.  The island in the lagoon is under a hundred thousand square meters. But the lagoon is part of an artificial island complex that is about 4 million square meters of new land.

mle87more
mle87more

we saw the state of OHIO. are they playing copy-cat by nature?

davetawi
davetawi

@MarkHeil Flip the picture and the perspective will right itself. Our brain is trained by an overhead sun to think that when there is a shadow at the top, the thing below the shadow must be indented. If the shadow is at the bottom, the thing above it must be raised.  This "default" assumption applies even when you are viewing something from directly overhead, as is the case here. The brain just assumes you are standing on flat ground looking at the horizon.  Try it.  It's an interesting effect.

radiofox
radiofox

@davetawi @MarkHeilI did that. It still took several minutes of staring to get it to look "right." I eventually forced myself to see the river as lower than the land.