27/02/2017, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador In the Pacific Ocean, to the west of the South American continent, and straddling the Equator, PROBA-V spotted the internationally protected, volcanic archipelago of the Galápagos and the surrounding marine reserve. The archipelago is renowned for the many endemic species that were studied by Charles Darwin, directly contributing to his famous theory on evolution by means of natural selection.
In 1535, the Spaniard Tomás de Berlanga, fourth bishop of Panama, first visited these islands by chance when he was sailing to Peru. On the maps of Mercator and Ortelius, famous geographers, the islands were named Insulae de los Galopegos or Islands of the Tortoises after the giant tortoises found there.
This false colour composition highlights the vegetation (red) on the flanks of several volcanoes, in particular Wolf, Darwin, Alcedo, Santo Tomás and Cerro Azul volcanoes on Isla Isabella, the largest island.
18/02/2016, Canarreos Archipelago, Cuba In mid February 2016, PROBA-V captured this false-colour image in the Caribbean, on the southwestern side of Cuba. It shows the Gulf of Batabanó, a shallow (61 m deep) straight or inlet between the main island of Cuba and the Canarreos archipelago in the south.
The archipelago comprises some 350 islets and its largest islands are Isla de la Juventud (Isle of Youth) and Cayo Largo del Sur (Long Cay). Until the late 1970s, the Isle of Youth, shown in the southwest of the image, was called Isla de Pinos (Isle of Pines) after its coverage by pine forests, the source for a large lumber industry.
Cayo Largo, on the eastern end of the archipelago, is renowned as holiday destination and said to have been visited by Christopher Columbus on his second expedition in 1494. It is a limestone island, with coral reefs under stress from bleaching.
16/01/2017, Turks and Caicos The 100 m false-colour image of 16 January 2017 shows us Middle Caicos, also named Grand Caicos, the largest island in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The island is known for its extensive system of caves and its significant Lucayan Indian archeological sites.
The two islands of North Caicos and Middle Caicos make up by far the most land mass in the Turks and Caicos.
Once the home of agriculture in the county, the overgrown ruins of extensive cotton and sisal plantations can still be explored today. This tradition of farming continues to be carried on, with several local farms producing tomatoes, peppers, melons, bananas sugar cane and papaya. The islands are sparsely populated, together being the home of less than 2,000 people.
06/03/2017, Islas de Mangles The 100 m false-colour image of 6 March 2017 shows us the Canarreos Archipelago, located south of the main island of Cuba, in the Caribbean Sea.
It comprises roughly 350 islets, and is almost as long as the Florida Keys. The largest island of the archipelago is Isla de la Juventud, the second largest is Cayo Largo del Sur.
01/07/2016, Nenetsië, Russia The 100 m image of 1 July 2016 shows us Kolguyev Island, an island in Nenets Autonomous Okrug Russia located in the south-eastern Barents Sea to the north-east of the Kanin Peninsula.
The approximately circular-shaped island has a diameter of 80 kilometers (50 mi) and is 3,497 km² in area. The highest point on the island is at 166 m. The vast wetland consists of many bogs and morainic hills, covered by vegetation characteristic of the tundra.
There is only one inhabited settlement on the island, Bugrino, located on the southeast coast. Nenets form the majority of the population, with fishing, reindeer farming and trapping being their main economic activities.
01/07/2016, Severny Island, Russia The 100 m false-colour image of 1 July 2016 shows us Novaya Zemlya archipelago with Severny Island (northern) and Yuzhny Island (southern) , separated by the narrow Matochkin Strait.
Severny Island, approx 400 km north of the Russian mainland, has an area of 48,904 km². 40% of the island is covered by the Severny Island ice cap which is the largest glacier by area and by volume in Europe. Severny Island is known for its numerous glaciers.
Yuzhny Island has an area of 33,275 km², which is smaller than the northern island Severny. West of Yuzhny Island lies the Barents Sea, and to the east the Kara Sea.
21/05/2017, Bazaruto Island, Mozambique The 100 m false-colour image of 21 May 2017 shows us Bazaruto Island, a sandy island located approximately 80 kilometres southeast of the mouth of the Save River, Mozambique.
The warm, southward-flowing Mozambique Current seems to contribute to the increasing buildup of the sandy coastline. Because the water along this coastal area is very clear, much of the sub-surface channel pattern around the island is discernible. The coastal plains show numerous lakes and a swampy environment that appears to be karst topography. Underlying the area is limestone rock that has eroded into a pockmarked landscape, creating water-filled sinkholes.
25/05/2016, Vanua Levu Fiji To pay attention to the vulnerability of Fiji’s and other coral reefs to plastic pollution, we present you today the PROBA-V 100 m false-colour image of 25 May 2016. It shows the second major island Vanua Levu in full glory, surrounded by coastal reefs that can be recognised by the blue-green taints.
Fiji is an archipelago of more than 330 islands, located in the Pacific Ocean at about two-thirds from Hawaii to New Zealand and intersected by the 180o meridian.
It was gradually formed through volcanic activity starting 150 million years ago, with some islands still having geothermal activity. The Fiji islands are most well-known for their pristine beaches and majestic coral reefs.
However, the beauty of the these beaches and reefs is threatened by increasing amounts of micro-plastic pollution that are suspended in the ocean water and are transported by the South Pacific Gyre.
20/06/2016, Kuril Islands, Russia The 1,300 km long volcanic archipelago of the Kuril Islands stretches between Japan and the Kamchatka Peninsula, where the Sea of Okhotsk meets the Pacific Ocean. The islands are part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, the tectonically unstable ring that encircles the Pacific Ocean and is known for the majority of Earth’s major volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.
The Kuril islands are the summits of stratovolcanoes that result from the subduction of the Pacific Plate under the Okhotsk Plate, along the Kuril Trench. The chain of 56 islands is home to around 100 volcanoes, of which 40 are active, many hot springs and frequent seismic activity.
The PROBA-V 100 m image of mid June 2016 shows the northernmost islands, that are part of the Kamchatka-Kurile meadows sparse forests ecoregion. The climate on the islands is generally severe, with long, cold, stormy winters and short and foggy summers.
11/07/2016, Summer in Greenland This image shows us Greenland, the world's largest non-continental island and the third largest country in North America. It lies between latitudes 59° and 83°N, and longitudes 11° and 74°W. Greenland has an Arctic climate with average temperatures that do not exceed 10° C in the warmest summer months. In the southern part of the country and the innermost parts of the long fjords, the temperature can, however, rise to more than 20° C in June, July or August. The sea around Greenland affects the climate on land. The stretches of coastline close to the open sea, in particular, are cooled by the sea.
13/06/2014, Cape verde Islands Our atmosphere is full of turbulent eddies, ranging from the well-known (extra-)tropical low-pressure areas down to the molecular scale, as was summarised in 1922 by L.F. Richardson in the rhyming verse “Big whirls have little whirls that feed on their velocity, and little whirls have lesser whirls and so on to viscosity”.
Turbulent phenomena that are frequently observed by PROBA-V are von Kármán cloud vortices, which are flow disturbances in the wake of large objects, such as islands. When a prevailing wind encounters the islands, the flow is separated, which may result in a repeating vortex pattern that becomes visible by the presence of clouds.
The image of 13 June 2014 shows a couple of von Kármán cloud vortices that have formed downstream of the northern Cape Verde Islands in a north-easterly flow.
In the lower image part, the eastern Cape Verde islands are visible, with the volcanic island Fogo recognisable by a black stain.
29/02/2016, Mauna Loa Volcano, Hawaii This colourful image of Hawaii island shows the flanks of Mauna Loa or ‘long mountain’, one of the largest and highest (over 4 km above sea level) volcanoes in the world. This active shield volcano is routinely monitored by the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory of the US Geological Survey and last erupted in 1984. North of Mauna Loa, with small red spots, lays the higher and dormant Mauna Kea volcano.
01/04/2015, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador The 100 m image of 1 April 2015 shows - from west to east - the islands of Ferdinandina, Isabela, San Salvador and Santa Cruz. The volcanic craters on the westernmost islands, with La Cumbre on Fernandina having erupted in April 2009, are well visible.
13/6/2014, Cabo Verde Cabo Verde is an archipelago country consisting of 10 islands located about 600 km west of Senegal. The Republic of Cabo Verde became independent from Portugal in 1975. All islands are visible on this 100 m image of 13 June 2014, with also some von Karman waves visible in the cloud patterns on the left and middle part of the image.
13/3/2015, Yemen, Socotra Socotra is an archipelago and part of Yemen, located about 240 km east of the Horn of Africa and about 360 km south of the Arabian Peninsula. The largest island is also called Socotra and harbours various plant species that are found nowhere else on Earth.
01/09/2013, Greek Islands Greece has a large number of islands, which are shown here on a 300 m image taken at 1 September 2013. The estimates on the number of islands range from somewhere around 1,200 to 6,000, depending on the minimum island size to take into account. The number of inhabited islands is variously cited as between 166 and 227. The largest Greek island by area is Crete, located at the southern edge of the Aegean Sea and can be seen in the lower part of the image. The second largest island is Euboea (visible in the upper left part of the image), which is separated from the mainland by the 60m-wide Euripus Strait.Lesbos and Rhodos are the third and fourth largest islands, respectively.
21/06/2014, Provence, France This 300 m image of 21 June 2014 shows the Provence, a geographical region and historical province in southeastern France. It extends from the left bank of the lower Rhône River in the west to the Italian border in the east and is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the south. It largely corresponds with the modern administrative region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, and includes the départements of Var, Bouches-du-Rhône, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, and parts of Alpes-Maritimes and Vaucluse.
07/09/2014, Comoros, Africa The Comoros is a sovereign archipelago island nation in the Indian Ocean, located at the northern end of the Mozambique Channel off the eastern coast of Africa, between northeastern Mozambique and northwestern Madagascar. Other countries near the Comoros are Tanzania to the northwest and the Seychelles to the northeast. Its capital is Moroni on Grande Comore.
04/06/2014, Cabo Verde Cabo Verde is an archipelago country consisting of 10 islands located about 600 km west of Senegal. The Republic of Cabo Verde became independent from Portugal in 1975. All islands are visible on this 100 m image of 4 June 2014, with also some von Kármàn waves visible in the cloud patterns on the left and middle part of the image.