ESA images on Google Earth
16 November 2006
Fewer than 450 people have enjoyed the wonder of staring down at our beautiful planet from space. However, anyone who can access the Internet on a computer can now get an astronaut’s view of the Earth – thanks to a new partnership between ESA and Google.
Google Earth, Google’s 3D world browser, has been a remarkable success. More than 100 million people have already visited the site for a virtual voyage of discovery. Now added to the site’s picture galleries are more than 130 images taken by ESA’s Envisat, ERS and Proba satellites.
Google Earth is free for personal use. Like a globe inside a computer, it allows users to turn the world and zoom in on places of interest. The first step is to go to the web site (http://earth.google.com). Download and install the software. On the Google Earth site, move your mouse cursor to the left-hand sidebar. Click on ‘European Space Agency’ in the ‘Featured Content’ box.
The ESA pictures can be found in two different collections. ‘Earth beauty seen from space’ includes some of the most eye-catching places in the world. Images show coral reefs, winding rivers and sandy deserts. ‘Phenomena seen from space’ shows amazing effects of Nature. These include hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, dust storms, fires and changing ice glaciers.
In addition to admiring the stunning images, you can also learn all about them. The captions give lots of fascinating facts about the pictures and places – including how human activity is changing the world.