Let's Take a Break and Check Out Some Chill Satellite Images From This Week Instead

Let's Take a Break and Check Out Some Chill Satellite Images From This Week Instead

It’s not a satellite, but it’s almost there.
It’s not a satellite, but it’s almost there.
Photo: NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center

We’ve had a week, haven’t we, friends?

I don’t need to recount what we’ve been through, you can feel it coursing through your veins. It’s been a long one, the weekend will prove to be longer, and the nearly three months to inauguration will be longer still.

So let me offer you what we in “the biz” call counter-programming. I took the afternoon away from doomscrolling to satellitescroll instead, checking out images from the past week of our fair planet. It was a nice break from refreshing Twitter, and I wanted to share my finds with you. Please enjoy a few minutes of reprieve, then for the love of all things holy, consider how you’re going to help flip the Senate by helping with Georgia’s two runoff elections.

Managing editor, Earther

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Torres del Paine National Park

Torres del Paine National Park

Wish I was hiking there right now. Chill.
Wish I was hiking there right now. Chill.
Photo: Sentinel Hub

My wife and I were supposed to take our honeymoon to Patagonia. But we were burned out on wedding planning and couldn’t bring ourselves to book a very involved trip. Then some life stuff happened and now, six years later, we’re still waiting on that trip. Anyways, here’s Cerro Paine Grande where we were planning to do some backpacking. Once the pandemic ends, maybe we’ll make it there for our tenth anniversary or something.

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Namibia

Namibia

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Imagine taking a little ride on the road in the lower righthand corner. Chill.
Photo: Sentinel Hub

The Namib Desert doesn’t get the same fame as the Sahara, but I have a soft spot for it. The burnt orange dunes just do it for me. Here’s a view of leaf-shaped sand dune formations jutting into the bed of the Tsauchab River. Deserts, yo.

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Richat Structure

Richat Structure

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It’s probably more cool from space than on the ground. Still, chill.
Photo: Sentinel Hub

Let’s stay in the desert for a hot minute (that was a little desert humor for you). Going way north to Mauritania and the more famous Sahara, you can find the Richat Structure. It’s a 30-mile-wide (48-kilometer-wide) concentric ring of rocks that appears to be a signal for aliens to land here. Instead, it’s a dome of rock uplifted by faults that have eroded away over millions of years. Just because it has terrestrial origins doesn’t mean aliens might not use it as a landing spot someday, though.

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South Georgia Island

South Georgia Island

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Fun fact: the island was once home to invasive reindeer and rodents. They’re gone now. So chill.
Photo: Sentinel Hub

As I was cruising the Southern Ocean, South Georgia Island jumped out at me. Almost quite literally. The clouds spread across the massive sea parted around the island located to the north of the Antarctic Peninsula. Islands can often disrupt the flow of air, and thus, clouds. In this case, South Georgia Island is essentially a rock in the midst of an atmospheric stream, disrupting an otherwise uniform flow of clouds. It was also, incidentally, in the news this week because an iceberg the size of Rhode Island could plow into it.

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Klyuchevskaya Sopka Volcano

Klyuchevskaya Sopka Volcano

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Lava might not be super chill up close, but from space? Yup, that’s more chill.
Photo: Pierre Markuse

I tried to get a cool image of this volcano but failed to really capture the vibe, so I turned to the archives of friend of the blog and satellite genius Pierre Markuse. Klyuchevskaya Sopka Volcano is a stratovolcano on the Kamchatka Peninsula. It is also, as you can see, dribbling out lava. The peninsula, incidentally, is also dealing with an environmental catastrophe as hundreds of dead sea creatures wash up on the shore due to suspected pollution. Sorry to ruin the vibes for a minute, but would it really be an Earther post without reminding you the world is dying?

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The Maldives

The Maldives

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Atolls and chill.
Photo: Sentinel Hub

Sorry for the traumatic ending of the previous slide, so let’s end here. The Maldives are a series of atolls in the Indian Ocean. They’re chill as hell from space. Imagine chilling on one of those boats just puttering around between those fragile islands ringing lagoons. I can hear Radiohead’s “Subterranean Homesick Alien” playing as I look at the image. Enjoy. And don’t forget about Georgia.

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Managing editor, Earther

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