Images by ESA

Two weeks ago, the European Space Agency launched its Copernicus Sentinel-3A satellite into orbit to image the Earth’s environment in unprecedented detail. This is the first image it captured, of dawn over Svalbard in Norway.

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The image above was captured on February 29th using the satellite’s Ocean and Land Colour Instrument. The eerie picture shows the snowy archipelago as well as the Arctic sea. Soon after, the satellite captured the image below, over California.

The satellite has a resolution of 980 feet and can capture images that cover 800 miles at a time. Its 21 different frequency bands will be used to keep an eye on different aspects of our planet—from monitoring the health of vegetation and measuring temperatures to detecting marine life and analysing the melting of glaciers.

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[ESA]