Earth as Art: beautiful satellite images of Earth from the Landsat programme

NASA asked the public to vote on their favourite images from more than 120 images in the online ‘Earth as Art’ collection acquired by the Landsat programme over the last 40 years. The winner was this image, called Van Gogh from Space due to its similarity to Van Gogh’s painting Starry Night. In the satellite photo, acquired on 13 July 2005, massive congregations of greenish phytoplankton swirl in the dark water around Gotland, a Swedish island in the Baltic Sea.

Empty Quarter - February 1st, 2003 - White pinpricks of cloud cast ebony shadows on the Rub' al Khali, or Empty Quarter, near the border between Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The lines of wind-sculpted sand are characteristic of immense sand deserts, or sand seas, and the Rub' al Khali is the largest desert of this type in the world. A highland ridge is just high enough to disturb the flow of the lines. In the center of that interruption lies the Saudi Arabian town of Sharurah.

Desert Patterns - April 13th, 2003 - Seen through the eyes of a satellite sensor, ribbons of Saharan sand dunes seem to glow in sunset colors. These patterned stripes are part of Erg Chech, a desolate sand sea in southwestern Algeria, Africa, where the prevailing winds create an endlessly shifting collage of large, linear sand dunes. The term erg is derived from an Arabic word for a field of sand dunes.

More via The Telegraph picture gallery