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The Inauguration of President Barack Obama from Space

Today's inauguration as seen from over 400 miles high (GeoEye)

Today's inauguration as seen from over 400 miles high (GeoEye)

Travelling at 17,000 mph at an altitude of 423 miles, the 4,300 lb GeoEye-1 snapped a very high resolution image of Washington D.C. just before Barack Obama became the 44th President of the United States. Looking like crowds of ants vying for space around Capitol Hill and the White House, hundreds of thousands of spectators gathered to watch this historic day unfold…

GeoEye-1 took this satellite photo of Barack Obama's inauguration ceremony (GeoEye)

GeoEye-1 took this satellite photo of Barack Obama's inauguration ceremony (GeoEye)

While Washington D.C. celebrated the inauguration of President Barack Obama, the staff at the satellite imagery company GeoEye were hard at work, processing a unique view of the nation’s capital. One of the world’s most advanced imaging satellites (used by Google Maps and Google Earth) called GeoEye-1 was able to grab this incredible image from orbit, providing a view none of the cameras on the ground could experience.

GeoEye commissioned this orbital photograph in response to numerous media requests. The satellite is able to attain a resolution of 0.41 meters, although this preliminary view has been shrunk by media sources for distribution. It does however, capture a unique view of what is a historic day not only for the US but for the World.

More information about GeoEye-1:
In August 2008, Google signed a deal with the satellite imagery company GeoEye for exclusive use of the images produced by the company’s new GeoEye-1 satellite. GeoEye-1 was launched on board a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, on September 6th 2008. The satellite is currently in a Sun-synchronous orbit, over 400 miles above the surface of Earth, imaging the surface in unprecedented detail. A US government licence actually limits the resolution of available images to 0.5 metres (the camera on GeoEye-1 can attain a resolution of 0.41 metres). GeoEye-1’s competitors can resolve objects down to 0.6 metres at the smallest. The GeoEye products are currently used by Google for several projects, such as Google Earth and Google Maps.
–Universe Today article, “Google Satellite” Will Have an Orbital View Over Obama’s Inauguration

Source: CNET


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Hello! My name is Ian O'Neill and I've been writing for the Universe Today since December 2007. I am a solar physics doctor, but my space interests are wide-ranging. Since becoming a science writer I have been drawn to the more extreme astrophysics concepts (like black hole dynamics), high energy physics (getting excited about the LHC!) and general space colonization efforts. I am also heavily involved with the Mars Homestead project (run by the Mars Foundation), an international organization to advance our settlement concepts on Mars. I also run my own space physics blog: Astroengine.com, be sure to check it out!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Michael January 21, 2009, 3:05 PM

    I’m rubber, your glue. Bounces off me and sticks to you.

    PS….I didn’t think it was veiled.

  • Astrofiend January 21, 2009, 3:43 PM

    # rogue Says:
    January 21st, 2009 at 3:11 am

    “If you look at google earth you will see that there are many occult patterns in the Washington DC street design, most notable is the inverted pentagram (satanic star) with the White House directly at is bottom point. Btw the Washington Monument is a giant Masonic Obelisk.”

    Awesome. I hope it is a monument to some obscure group secretly running the world. That would kick arse. The Knights Templar or Illuminati or something. Where’s Dan Brown to report on this issue? Man I wish I was into conspiracy theories.

  • Dark Gnat January 22, 2009, 8:49 AM

    The cul-de-sacs around the Capitol building form an owl, which is an important symbol of wisdom in Freemasonry (and is also on the $1 bill…very tiny).

    There’s all kinds of other symbols and petterns in the layout, including the Presidential pentagram.