Tag Archives: NASA

Lights over Egypt, Israel and Jordan from Space

Nasa’s EarthObservatory site is a great website about our Earth. After posting the photos about the changes in the Dead Sea I remembered another image of this region, the Nile delta in Egypt and neighboring Israel and Jordan taken at night from Space. You can see clearly based on the lit up areas where the major populations are situated. Israel is pretty brightly lit up suggesting that a) we use a lot of electricity for lights and/or b) the northern part of our small country is relatively densely populated.

From the EarthObservatory website:

The Nile River and its delta look like a brilliant, long-stemmed flower in this astronaut photograph of the southeastern Mediterranean Sea, as seen from the International Space Station. The Cairo metropolitan area forms a particularly bright base of the flower. The smaller cities and towns within the Nile Delta tend to be hard to see amidst the dense agricultural vegetation during the day. However, these settled areas and the connecting roads between them become clearly visible at night. Likewise, urbanized regions and infrastructure along the Nile River becomes apparent.

Another brightly lit region is visible along the eastern coastline of the Mediterranean—the Tel-Aviv metropolitan area in Israel (image right). To the east of Tel-Aviv lies Amman, Jordan. The two major water bodies that define the western and eastern coastlines of the Sinai Peninsula—the Gulf of Suez and the Gulf of Aqaba—are outlined by lights along their coastlines (image lower right).

Scattered blue-grey clouds cover the Mediterranean Sea and the Sinai, while much of northeastern Africa is cloud-free. A thin yellow-brown band tracing the Earth’s curvature at image top is airglow, a faint band of light emission that results from the interaction of atmospheric atoms and molecules with solar radiation at approximately 100 kilometers (60 miles) altitude.

Astronaut photograph ISS025-E-9858 was acquired on October 28, 2010, with a Nikon D3S digital camera using a 16 mm lens, and is provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations experiment and Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, Johnson Space Center. The image was taken by the Expedition 25 crew.

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Dead Sea Shrinking

Dead Sea Shrinking (1972, 1989, 2011)

The Dead Sea is less than an hour drive from Jerusalem so it’s an area that I guide often. I always point out the two black lines on the rocks to the right of the highway across from Ein Feshka, the levels of the sea as recorded by the Palestine Exploration Fund in the 1920s and explain that the Dead Sea is shrinking by a meter a year. I usually get asked how the Dead Sea has changed over time. These satellite photographs from Nasa’s Earth Observatory website show it clearly.

The false-color images above were captured by the Landsat 1, 4, and 7 satellites on September 15, 1972, August 27, 1989 and October 11, 2011.
All three images include a combination of near-infrared, red, and green wavelengths. Deep waters are blue or dark blue, while brighter blues indicate shallow waters or salt ponds (in the south). The pale pink and sand-colored regions are barren desert landscapes, while green indicates sparsely vegetated lands. Denser vegetation appears bright red. Near the center is the Lisan Peninsula, which forms a land bridge through the Dead Sea.

For more information about the Dead Sea check out my blog post here.