NASA Satellites Capture Earth As You’ve Never Seen It

Really! "Earth As Art," a free e-book from NASA, shows off surreal photos of Earth with light taken outside the visible spectrum. Here are 19 of our favorites.

It’s already unlikely we’ll get a view as good as the ones collected in “Earth As Art,” a new, free e-book from NASA. The collection has years’ worth of beautiful satellite photos from around the world, reaching across Africa to Asia to Antarctica. But what’s even more interesting, as NASA scientist Lawrence Friedl points out in the introduction, is that “these satellites can measure light outside of the visible range, so the images show more than what is visible to the naked eye.” Here are our favorites.

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Kalahari Desert, Southern Africa

Byrd Glacier, Antarctica

Pinacate Volcano Field, Mexico

Desolation Canyon, United States

Rocky Mountain Trench, Canada

Nazca Lines, Peru

Mayn River, Russia

Wadi Branches, Jordan

Akpatok Island, Canada

Gravity Waves, Above the Indian Ocean

Garden City, United States

Vatnajökull Glacier Ice Cap, Iceland

Himalayas, Central Asia

Kuril Islands, Sea of Okhotsk

Meandering Mississippi, United States

Great Salt Desert, Iran

Carnegie Lake, Australia

Edrengiyn Nuruu, Mongolia

Paraná River Delta, Argentina