Deadly Costa Concordia Shipwreck Captured in Stunning Image from Space

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The deadly Costa Concordia shipwreck has been captured in a stunning high resolution image from space that vividly shows the magnitude of the awful disaster with the huge luxury cruise ship precariously tipped on its side just off of the Tuscan coastline of the Italian Island of Giglio [Isola del Giglio]. See the full image and close-up below.

The newly released image was taken by a commercial owned by DigitalGlobe and flying some 300 miles overhead in low Earth orbit. The photo from a WorldView satellite was snapped on January 17, 2012 and shows exactly where the cruise ship ran aground five days ago on Friday, January 13, 2012 when it was steered way to close to the shoreline.

The photo is a surreal view of the massive ship on its side, submerged on the shoreline in the Mediterranean Sea snapped through scattered clouds. The sight is something really hard to believe – imagine the movie Titanic.

Location Map of Costa Concordia Shipwreck
off the Tuscan coastline of Giglio, Italy

The Costa Concordia cruise ship had just left port with over 3200 passengers and 1000 crew members aboard and was sailing extremely close to Giglio Island when it apparently struck underwater rocks that suddenly ripped a gigantic gash through the hull and capsized the ship, sending the terrified passengers scrambling for their lives.

The Mediterranean waters temperature was about 57 F.

Shocking infrared video shows people frantically crawling over the side of the listing ship – tilted completely on its side – frantically trying to get into the lifeboats using rope lines – at night.

Passengers said it was an “Out of body experience.” Strangers helping strangers

Amazing new video shows the rocks clearly embedded in the hull of the wrecked ship.

The ship soon began listing off the Italian coastline in darkness. At a moment’s notice objects started flying through the air and the frightened passengers boarded lifeboats as fast as they could, apparently with no practice training beforehand.

Full view of Capsized Costa Concordia Cruise Ship, Giglio, Italy- January 17, 2012
The Costa Concordia luxury cruise ship ran aground in the Tuscan waters off of Giglio,Italy on Friday, January, 2012. Giglio Island at left, the Mediterranean Sea at right. Credit: DIGITALGLOBE

11 people are confirmed dead so far and about two dozen people are still missing today as emergency rescue crews furiously search every nook and cranny on the cruise ship in a desperate bid to find anyone who may still be alive.

Giglio Island, Italy off the coastline of Tuscany - Location Costa Concordia Shipwreck
Click to enlarge

Rescues divers have used explosives to gain entry to portions of the ship searching for any survivors.

Rescue efforts were temporarily suspended today (Jan. 18) due to rough seas. The Costa Concordia is loaded with several thousand gallons of diesel fuel oil which could contaminate the surroundings.

Satellite Close-up of Wreckage of Costa Concordia Luxury Cruise Ship of the coast of Giglio, Italy. Credit: DIGITALGLOBE

According to the DigitalGlobe website, the Colorado based company owns and operates the most sophisticated constellation of high-resolution commercial earth imaging satellites – . QuickBird, WorldView-1 and WorldView-2 which are capable of collecting over 500 million km2 of quality imagery per year with high resolution cameras.

The DigitalGlobe satellites are used for defense and intelligence, civil agencies, mapping and analysis, environmental monitoring and oil and gas exploration.

Costa Concordia Shipwreck
Artist concept shows DigitalGlobe Quickbird satellite soaring over Italy and Sicily. Credit: DigitalGlobe

Now look in the opposite direction and see fabulous photos of the ISS crossing the Moon shot from a telescope in Houston, Texas
Dazzling Photos of the International Space Station Crossing the Moon!

Ken Kremer

Dr. Ken Kremer is a speaker, research scientist, freelance science journalist (KSC area,FL) and photographer whose articles, space exploration images and Mars mosaics have appeared in magazines, books, websites and calendars including Astronomy Picture of the Day, NBC, FOX, BBC, SPACE.com, Spaceflight Now, Science and the covers of Aviation Week & Space Technology, Spaceflight and the Explorers Club magazines. Ken has presented at numerous educational institutions, civic & religious organizations, museums and astronomy clubs. Ken has reported first hand from the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, NASA Wallops, NASA Michoud/Stennis/Langley and on over 80 launches including 8 shuttle launches. He lectures on both Human and Robotic spaceflight - www.kenkremer.com. Follow Ken on Facebook and Twitter

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