Earth from Space: Peaceful Paxi

26 July 2013

The northwestern part of Greece is pictured in this image acquired on 28 April by the Landsat-8 satellite.

The Ionian Sea dominates the left side of the image, with the Ambracian Gulf near the centre. Two rivers drain into the shallow gulf, making it less salty than the Ionian. The terrain surrounding the gulf is primarily mountainous and covered with forests. Areas of agricultural activity are also evident, showing up in brighter colours and patchy structures.

In the upper-left corner we can see the Paxi islands. According to mythology, the islands were created when Poseidon, the god of the sea, hit the nearby island of Corfu (not pictured) with his trident to break off the tip. It is believed that he did this to create a peaceful place for his wife, Amphitrite.

In fact, thousands of holidaymakers find the islands to be the perfect place for rest and recuperation during the summer months.

Paxos, to the north, boasts beautiful beaches mainly along its eastern coast, with dramatic cliffs and caves dominating the west side. The smaller island to the south, Antipaxos, is also known for its beaches as well as its traditional vineyards.

‘Paxi’ is also the name of the ESA Kids mascot – a little green explorer from a faraway planet. He’s visiting us to teach children about space and Earth, and kids are invited to follow his adventures via Facebook and Twitter.

This image is featured on the Earth from Space video programme.

Copyright 2000 - 2014 © European Space Agency. All rights reserved.