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.

Join the Discussion

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

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Photos of New York City, in Motion

A filmmaker animated hundreds of still photographs to create this flip-book tour of the Big Apple.

Video

The Absurd Psychology of Restaurant Menus

Would people eat healthier if celery was called "cool celery?"

Video

This Japanese Inn Has Been Open For 1,300 Years

It's one of the oldest family businesses in the world.

Video

What Happens Inside a Dying Mind?

Science cannot fully explain near-death experiences.

More in Technology

Just In