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Earth from Space: Created capital city of Canberra

20/07/2007 1240 views 1 likes
ESA / Applications / Observing the Earth / Proba-1

This Proba image features Australia’s capital city, Canberra. Located some 280 km southwest of Sydney and 650 km northeast of Melbourne, Canberra was chosen as the nation’s capital location in 1908.

The city’s design is a result of an international contest, which was won by American architect Walter Burley Griffin in 1913. As visible in the image, circles are a recurring theme of the city. Most notably, State Circle surrounds Capital Circle which surrounds Capital Hill, home of the New Parliament House (visible in the lower left quadrant of the image).

Old Parliament House is the white building visible between Capital Hill and the lake, named Lake Burley Griffin after the designer.

Lake Burley Griffin is an artificial lake that was constructed in 1963, based on Griffin’s design. Two roads cross the lake – Commonwealth Avenue (left) and Kings Avenue (right). The two buildings located on the lakeshore just west of Kings Avenue are the National Gallery and the High Court of Australia. The lake front building located to the east of Commonwealth Avenue is the National Library of Australia.

Located in Lake Burley Griffin on Aspen Island (east of Kings Ave) is the National Carillon – a 50 m tall construction that contains 55 bells that can be heard daily. Britain gave the carillon to Canberra in 1963.

Canberra is the only city located in the Australian Capital Territory, which has an area of some 2400 square kilometres and stretches 88 km from north to south and 30 km from west to east.

Proba's High Resolution Camera (HRC) acquired this image from 600 kilometres above the Earth’s surface on 23 June 2007. The HRC is a black and white camera that incorporates a miniature Cassegrain telescope, giving it far superior spatial resolution than the human eye.

Proba (Project for On Board Autonomy) is an ESA micro-satellite launched in October 2001 as a technology demonstrator, but it is now operated as an ESA Earth Observation Third Party Mission.

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