Mount Etna is an active stratovolcano on the east coast of Sicily, Italy, between the cities of Messina and Catania. At a height of 10,912 feet (3,326 m), it is by far the largest active volcano in Italy — roughly two and a half times taller than Mount Vesuvius. Etna is one of the world’s most active volcanoes and has erupted at least 49 times since January 1955.
Radiating streets surround the Plaza Del Ejecutivo in the Venustiano Carranza district of Mexico City, Mexico. This district — which is home to more than 430,000 people — contains three of Mexico City’s large traditional markets, including La Merced, Mercado de Sonora, and Mercado Jamaica.
Valparaíso, Chile, is built upon dozens of steep hillsides overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Known as “The Jewel of the Pacific,” the city is the sixth largest in the county and is home to approximately 285,000 residents. Valparaíso is also home to the country’s first public library, South America’s first volunteer fire department, and the world’s longest running Spanish language newspaper in continuous publication.
Amazing layered rock patterns are visible on the Adrar Plateau, near the town of Atar in northwestern Mauritania. Located within the Sahara Desert, the Adrar is an arid plateau known for its gorges, stony deserts and sand dunes. Cave and rock paintings show that this region was settled in the Neolithic era about 12,000 years ago — today, around 62,000 people live in the Adrar Region.
The Amazon Spheres are three spherical conservatories that make up part of Amazon’s headquarters in downtown Seattle, Washington. The glass domes, which range from 80 to 95 feet (24-29 meters) in height, contain 40,000 plants from 50 countries and serve as an employee lounge and workspace. Public access is provided as part of weekly guided tours and a twice-monthly reservation program.
Santiago is the capital and largest city of Chile, as well as one of the largest cities in the Americas. Situated in a valley between the Andes Mountains and the Chilean Coast Range, the city is home to more than 5.2 million people. As Santiago has grown, its position in this valley — known as the Santiago Basin — has caused it to experience high levels of trapped air pollution and smog.
This Overview shows downtown Portland, Oregon, on the banks of the Willamette River. With more than 650,000 inhabitants, it is Oregon’s largest and most-populous city and the second-most populous in the Pacific Northwest. Portland’s cityscape is defined by its numerous bridges, many of which are historic and the three most traveled — Hawthorne Bridge, Steel Bridge and Broadway Bridge — are more than 100 years old.
Electric wires stretch across bright red salt ponds in San Francisco Bay, California. Here, sea water is channelled into large ponds and exits through natural evaporation, leaving the salt behind to be collected. The massive ponds get their vibrant reddish colors from the algae that thrive in the extremely salty water.
The first photograph captured by the camera onboard the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCVR) satellite, which orbits approximately 1 million miles away from Earth on July 6, 2015. This image was made by combining three separate photos to get a full picture of the planet. DSCVR’s camera will continue to provide a daily stream of Earth images, allowing for both real-time and ongoing observation of the planet. In this image, North and Central America are visible, along with the centrally-located shallow, turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea.Read the full story →
Milan, Italy — along with the surrounding Lombardy region and several neighboring provinces — was locked down this weekend to prevent the spread of coronavirus. In total, about 17 million people live in the quarantined area, which is more than a quarter of Italy’s population. Milan is considered a leading alpha global city, with strengths in art, commerce, design, education, fashion, finance, research and tourism.Read the full story →
Cologne is the fourth most populous city in Germany, with just over a million inhabitants. Situated on the Rhine River, the city is known for its Cologne Cathedral and numerous institutions of higher education, including the University of Cologne — one of Europe’s oldest and largest universities. Green areas cover more than a quarter of Cologne, which equates to roughly 800 square feet (75 square meters) of public green space per inhabitant.
Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan, China was built over a 10 day period between January 23 and February 2. With more than 7,000 people working around the clock, the facility was a major step in the Chinese government’s response to slow the spread of COVID-19. The facility has 1,000 beds with 30 intensive care units, medical equipment rooms, and quarantine wards. Field hospitals like this one are one of the ways China has slowed the spread of the virus. As of today, China has reported a second consecutive day of no new confirmed cases in Hubei province, the epicenter of the pandemic. This image was featured in our story "Perspective on the Coronavirus."Read the full story →
Mount Fuji is an active stratovolcano and the tallest peak in Japan, rising 12,389 feet (3,776 meters). Fuji has an extremely symmetrical cone, which is snow‑capped for several months of the year. During warmer months, climbing routes make it possible for hundreds of thousands of people to hike the volcano each year.
Tulips fields bloom in Lisse, Netherlands. The Dutch produce a total of 4.3 billion tulip bulbs each year. 53% of the total harvest (2.3 billion) is grown into cut flowers. Of these, 1.3 billion are sold in the Netherlands as cut flowers and the remainder is exported: 630 million bulbs to Europe and 370 million elsewhere.
Swirling folds of basaltic rock can be seen in the New Quebec Orogen, a large geologic belt in northeastern Canada. This area, also known as the Labrador Trough, covers an area of about 98,000 square miles (254,000 square km) and was formed some 2.17 billion years ago as molten rock erupted from rifts in the Earth’s crust flooded the landscape with basalt. The cliff face of each flow or “step” in this formation stands between 160 and 230 feet (50-70 m) tall.
Waves roll into the northern shore of Dakar, the capital and largest city of Senegal. Roughly 1 million people live in the city proper and another 1.4 million inhabit its greater metropolitan area. Situated on the Cap-Vert (Cape Verde) Peninsula on the Atlantic Ocean, Dakar is the westernmost city on the African mainland.
The Nardò Ring is a high speed, 7.8 mile long, circular test track in Nardò, Italy. Each of the ring’s four lanes has a determined “neutral speed” and is banked in such a manner that one can drive as if the road were straight.
The plaza outside of Duomo di Milano, the largest cathedral in Milan, Italy, can be seen nearly empty last week (March 4) during a nationwide lockdown in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. As a means of limiting the number of cases, health organizations have recommended taking preventative measures such as limiting public gatherings until more data can be gathered about the spread of the virus. We’ll do our best to continue to provide big picture perspectives during this time. Please take your health and the health of those around you seriously - wash your hands and employ social distancing as much as possible. Be safe!
Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany and seventh largest in the European Union, with a population of more than 1.8 million. The city center is seen here situated around the Binnenalster, one of two artificial lakes built within its limits. Located on the River Elbe, Hamburg contains the third busiest port in Europe, shipping roughly 145 million tonnes of goods every year.
Check out this amazing Overview of the Banks Peninsula, which juts off the east coast of New Zealand's South Island. The landmass, which is volcanic in origin, has an area of roughly 440 square miles (1,150 sq. km) and encompasses two large harbors and many small bays and coves. It is believed that forests once covered 98% of the Banks Peninsula, yet — as the result of deforestation — less than 2% of the native forest cover remains today.