Islands from Space

Islands from Space
by Kelsey Keith
Our science-inclined pals at Wired have collected a set of images depicted the world’s islands as seen from satellites in space. Unsurprisingly, many of them resemble amoeba and other organisms on the cellular level. (Put it all in perspective with the Scales of the Universe display at the American Museum of Natural History.) The abstract yet oh-so-concrete images also capture volcanoes, coral reefs, and mighty storms all from their perches in the heavens. Click through for two more shots.

Above: Atafu Atoll, Pacific Ocean, is the smallest of three atolls (pop: 500) in the Tokelau Islands near New Zealand.

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Maldives, Indian Ocean

The Republic of Maldives comprises over one thousand paradisiacal coral islands far out in the Indian Ocean, only about two hundred of which are inhabited. The average elevation of which is a little more than 3 feet, which makes it the lowest country in the world.

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Alejandro Selkirk Island, South Pacific Ocean

The Juan Fernandez Islands off the coast of Chile measure just under a mile across, but the tiny island of Alejandro Selkirk has an elevation of 5,000 feet, reaching the layer of stratocumulus clouds pictured above. “The result is a type of flow known as a von Karmen vortex street. This striking, curly pattern of eddies can also be seen in clouds, and fluids or air moving past rounded objects such as an airplane wing.”

All images courtesy of NASA.

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