To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Landsat Program on July 23, 2012, NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey asked the public to help select the top five "Earth as Art" images from the more than 120 scenes in the collection.
For the past 40 years Landsat satellites have been collecting images of the planet’s land cover. These satellites have provided spectacular views of mountains, deserts, valleys, coastal areas, islands, volcanic fields, forests and patterns found in the natural, geologic landscape. By highlighting some of those features and creatively crafting the colors, the series of "Earth as Art" perspectives revealed the artistic side of Landsat.
The Top five “Earth as Art” images were announced in Washington, D.C., at a special event commemorating the launch of the first Landsat satellite. The 1st place image, “Van Gogh from Space,” was taken from Landsat 7, and depicts massive congregations of swirling phytoplankton around Gotland, a Swedish Island in the Baltic Sea.
“Yukon Delta” won the 2nd place prize for, as the title suggests, a photograph of the countless rivers that flow into the Yukon Delta in southwest Alaska. One of the largest river deltas in the world, the river’s water ways seem like blood vessels that branch out into neon organ-like configurations.
All five of the award winning photographs demonstrate how the various Landsat satellites have been used to capture some of planet Earth’s most awe-inspiring geologic occurrences.