Observing Earth: Views from above

1. 1. The Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt

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This featured image is a 61-centimeter pan-sharpened image of the Great Pyramid in Giza, Egypt, collected by QuickBird on February 2, 2002. The Great Pyramid is estimated to have been built circa 2650 B.C., and was erected as a tomb for the Egyptian pharaoh Khufu of the Fourth Dynasty. Upon the completion of its construction, the Great Pyramid stood 145.75 meters (481 feet) high, and over the millennia has lost approximately 10 meters (30 feet) off the top. It stood as the tallest structure on Earth for more than 43 centuries.

1.2. Niagara Falls

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The image shows the Niagara River that connects Lake Erie to Lake Ontario, snaking around Goat Island, in the lower left of the full image. Most of the river’s water plummets over the Canadian/Horseshoe Falls, but some diverted water spills over American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls downstream. Every second, more than two million liters of water plunges over the Horsehoe Falls segment of Niagara Falls creating one of the world’s largest waterfalls as well as eating away as much as two meters of rock per year. The image was acquired August 2, 2004

1. 3. Grand Canyon

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Northern Arizona and the Grand Canyon are captured in this pair of Multi-angle Imaging Spectroradiometer (MISR) images from December 31, 2000. The above image is a true color view from the nadir (vertical) camera. In addition to the Grand Canyon itself, which is visible in the western (lower) half of the images, other landmarks include Lake Powell, on the left, and Humphreys Peak and Sunset Crater National Monument on the right. Meteor Crater appears as a small dark depression with a brighter rim, and is just visible along the upper right-hand edge.

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