The snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps stretch more than 500 km northeast to southwest across New Zealand’s South Island, imaged here in the southern hemisphere’s autumn by ESA’s Proba-V minisatellite – now into its sixth year in orbit.
Comprising 23 peaks above 3 000 m altitude, the glacier-lined Southern Alps are visited by more than half a million tourists annually. The mountains are located within a continuous tract of protected lands along the entire length of the island, made up of five national parks.
Mount Cook, otherwise known by the Maori name Aoraki, is the tallest of the Southern Alps at 3 724 m. It is visible here in the middle of the mountain chain, with the long glacial Lake Pukaki below it.
Launched on 7 May 2013, Proba-V is a miniaturised ESA satellite tasked with a full-scale mission: to map land cover and vegetation growth across the entire planet every two days.
Its main camera’s continent-spanning 2250 km swath width collects light in the blue, red, near-infrared and mid-infrared wavebands at a 300 m pixel size, down to 100 m in its central field of view.
VITO Remote Sensing in Belgium processes and then distributes Proba-V data to users worldwide. An online image gallery highlights some of the mission’s most striking images so far, including views of storms, fires and deforestation.
This 100 m spatial resolution image was acquired on 1 May 2018.