Observing every detail of the earth's surface from outer space has become a major scientific work, since it allows a precise knowledge of the current state of many environmental phenomena and their progressive development. Thanks to this observation, the evolution of atmospheric pollution, the deforestation process and the negative impact of the climate on large ice glaciers have been observed.
But, at the same time, it has served us all to enjoy incredible images of our planet that we could never have otherwise contemplated. This is the case of the impressive views of the city of Barcelona that have just been presented by the European Space Agency (ESA). It is the work of one of its French astronauts, Thomas Pesquet.
The image is, in fact, a collage, which consists of a set of superimposed shots that make up the photograph of the metropolitan area of a city with a greater visual quality that has ever been made available to the public so far. It shows the city in extraordinary detail and high resolution.
Photo: © Thomas Pesquet / ESA)
This set of photographs was taken on February 15th from the glass dome of the International Space Station (ISS), a giant laboratory that has been in orbit for more than 15 years. The station overflys the planet to about 400 kilometres of altitude, maintaining a displacement near the 28,800 kilometres per hour.
Thomas Pesquet, like many other astronauts, uses some of the free time left by his six-month mission to observe Earth through the windows of the station. For this photograph he used the longest lens available on the premises of 1,150 mm and made a series of 30 shots in a row for a period of 20 seconds. This means that from the first images to the last, Pesquet's displacement had been 160 kilometers east.
Subsequently, the images were rotated with digital procedures and assembled to form this huge mosaic. These images, which can be downloaded in high resolution, with a size greater than 340 Mb, allow you to see multiple details that are characteristic of the city, such as the difference of clarity in the waters of the port and its coastal zone or the huge green surface covering the Collserola Natural Park. You can even catch a glimpse of the ships entering the port or emblematic places such as Las Ramblas and the Olympic Village (Villa Olímpica).