Dazzling Photographs of Earth From Above
Satellite images of mountains, glaciers, deserts and other landscapes become incredible works of art
- By Erin Wayman
- Smithsonian.com, June 09, 2011
(USGS / NASA)
The white smear across the Transantarctic Mountains is the Byrd Glacier, named after American explorer Richard E. Byrd. The 112-mile stream of ice traverses half a mile each year—pretty fast for a glacier—as it flows toward the Ross Ice Shelf.
Although the images for the exhibit were selected for their aesthetic value, they provide an opportunity to educate people about how scientists use satellite imagery to study the earth, says Ronald Beck, a USGS information specialist. For example, researchers can use satellites to track how glaciers change over time.