Grand Canyon from space. Click for larger version. Credit: ESA

The Grand Canyon From Space

Article Updated: 24 Dec , 2015

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The Grand Canyon is an awesome sight on Earth — one of the seven natural wonders of the world – and it looks breathtaking from space, too. This image was taken by the Envisat satellite, showing canyon walls, rock structures, old lava flows, buttes, ravines, stair-step topography in hues of pink, violet and gray.

Also visible in the image are the Colorado Plateau (upper right corner), the Mogollon Plateau (dark area under Colorado Plateau), Lake Meade (Y-shaped water body left of the canyon), Las Vegas, Nevada (bright white and blue area left of Lake Meade) and the southern tip of Utah (upper left).

Although a number of processes combined to create the Grand Canyon, it was formed primarily by the eroding action of the Colorado River that began about six million years ago. Other contributing factors include volcanism, continental drift and the semiarid climate.

As water erosion sculpted this majestic showplace, it revealed layers and layers of exposed rocks that provide us with a profound record of geologic events. As some of Earth’s oldest rock lies at the bottom of the canyon, it is said to be 1800 meters and a billion years deep. It is about 443 km long and 8 to 29 km wide.

This image was acquired by Envisat’s Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) instrument on 10 May 2009, working in Full Resolution mode to provide a spatial resolution of 300 meters.

Source: ESA



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ray
Member
July 28, 2009 11:55 PM
Marvelous pictures. I hope I was one among the crew. My congratulations to all the crew members and to those who were involved in this remarkable achievement of mankind. Let NASA continue with its efforts in exploring the space and hope the U.S government reacts quickly in saving NASA from the impact of global recession. The recent economic downturn has put pressure on our government to decrease unnecessary spending. nasa is a vulnerable organization with discretionary funding that could possibly be slashed to save funds. The newly elected administration will decide nasa’s future fate. President-elect Barack Obama has promised funds to nasa but it is questionable if he will be able to keep all of his promises. He… Read more »
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