Earth from Space: London and the Olympic Sites

londonspace615.jpg

NASA

If viewership for these Olympic Games is anything like it was four years ago, billions will watch the London Games as they open tonight. But numbers for this view will be considerably lower. In this March 27 photo, London and the surrounding cities and towns hosting the Games are captured by the Suomi National Polar-Orbiting Partnership Satellite.

Though these kind of night-time satellite images look frivolous, they're crucial to earth scientists. "Nightime lights are the least ambiguous remote sensing observation indicating the presence and magnitude of human activities and the density of development," said Chris Elvidge, leader of the NOAA's Earth Observation Group, to a NASA writer while describing this shot.

NASA's Flickr page, which provides this image, has a good and much longer gloss on it. It also has images of the Athens and Atlanta sites. 

And specifically, the towns and centers named in this picture, and the sports they will host, are:

London -- Opening and Closing Ceremonies, most of the games
Lee Valley White Water Center -- canoeing
Weymouth -- sailing
Portland -- sailing
Eton Downey -- rowing and canoeing
Hadleigh Farm -- cycling and mountain bike

Below, recent Pictures of the Day:


Presented by

Robinson Meyer is an associate editor at The Atlantic, where he covers technology.

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. Who cares about youth? James Hamblin turns to his colleague Jeffrey Goldberg for advice.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. James Hamblin turns to a colleague for advice.

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Video

Pittsburgh: 'Better Than You Thought'

How Steel City became a bikeable, walkable paradise

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

More in Technology

Just In