What if we could get a recap of all the stunning images captured by NASA’s satellites in 2021? In a blog post titled ‘Amazing Earth: Satellite Images from 2021′, the space agency shared images taken by NASA’s fleet of Earth-observing satellites. Some images are also taken by instruments and astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS). From beautiful natural phenomena and record-breaking heatwaves, compelling moments of 2021 were caught on camera. The photos demonstrated that NASA’s technologies and Earth-observing missions were providing constant valuable information to scientists, government agencies, and populations across the globe.
In one image, we saw the only total solar eclipse from last year. The photo showed the moon’s shadow falling on Antarctica, which was like a dark patch on the globe on December 4. The image was acquired by the Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) fixed on the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCVR).
Another beautiful phenomenon was captured by NASA. The image displayed some of the highest diurnal tides in the world — nearly 14 meters (46 feet) — from the Shantar Islands and Uda Bay at the Sea of Okhotsk in the Russian Far East. The view of the swirling tides helped scientists understand tidal vortices better.
Another image included the Siljan Ring in the south-central region of Sweden. The landscape feature is a result of an asteroid impact that occurred around 380 million years ago, in the Late Devonian period. NASA also captured a captivating image of the Autumn foliage of Japan.
NASA Earth Observatory image by Joshua Stevens, using Landsat data from the US Geological Survey
Photo Credit: NASA/ DSCOVR EPIC
An image captured by an astronaut onboard the International Space Station (ISS) showed the stunning braided patterns in the Paraná River, the second-longest river in South America. Meanwhile, rivers in the continental United States have drastically changed their dominant colour over 35 years, showed an image captured by NASA.
Not all natural occurrences were beautiful. European Space Agency’s Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellite-derived images of mining in southeastern Peru from January to May 2021. The image showed the increase in mining in the region and the way it was affecting forest cover. In another photo, we saw the shocking high heatwaves in the Pacific Northwest in June 2021.
COVID-related supply chain disruptions led to “backlogs of cargo ships at ports” at different places in the world. An image was captured by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 that showed ships waiting offshore for unloading. The image depicted shipping traffic jams during 2021.
NASA celebrated its new Landsat 9 satellite by showing us its first natural-colour image. The photo is of the Coronation Islands along the Kimberly coast of Western Australia.