The myth that the Great Wall of China is seen from space (including the only object visible from the Moon) is very old but none of this is true. From the surface of the Moon, this huge wall would be exactly the same as seeing a human hair 3.2 km away. Unlikely, right? We can’t see such a small object from such a distance.
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However, there are other things that can be seen, and even some terrestrial natural events that we can contemplate from space.
There are quite a few natural structures, such as mountain ranges, that can be seen from space, but perhaps the most impressive is the Himalayas. This mountain range covers about 75% of Nepal and gets its name from Sanskrit: hima means “snow” and alaya means “abode” or “dwelling”. Views from the top can only be surpassed by views from space via satellites. It is a spectacular place on our planet spanning five countries, India, Nepal, Bhutan, China and Pakistan: and it is home to the highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest, which is approximately 8,850 meters high.
The Pyramids of Giza
The pyramids of Egypt represent a common focus of photography for satellites and astronauts on the International Space Station. Unlike the Great Wall of China, all three pyramid shapes are clearly visible from space with a zoom lens or high-resolution camera pointing at the Giza plateau. As long as the weather conditions are good and the lighting, even some astronauts on the ISS claim to be able to see them with the naked eye (as Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti commented). Satellite images also show the Egyptian pyramids of Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure, built in that order from approximately 2600 BC to 2400 BC. C. , are a testament to ancient planning and engineering. And today partially surrounded by the modern city of Cairo.
The Grand Canyon of the Colorado
The student-controlled EarthKAM camera aboard the International Space Station has also featured some stunning photographs from low-Earth orbit in this corner of Arizona. The natural formation with the characteristic red rock color is one of the seven wonders of the natural world seen from space. It is 446 kilometers long and if you want to see everything at once you need to go into space. It is only completely visible from there. From the ISS we can see the curved shape of the canyon, Lake Meade, the Colorado Plateau and even Las Vegas.
The Amazon River
Its size is so colossal that probably no one is surprised that it is another place on Earth that is visible from space. It is at least 6,400 kilometers long. Not only is it the longest and mightiest river on the planet, crossing several countries, Peru, Colombia and Brazil, but it is so spectacular that, at night, when we see it from space, we observe it as an intense golden line. This curious color has nothing to do with gold, but because it has low sediments, which together with the amount of algae, makes that instead of blue, it looks a certainly yellow-gold hue. As a curiosity, it used to flow in the opposite direction between 65 and 145 million years ago. The elevation of the Andes mountain range in the west forced the Amazon River to reverse its course and stop flowing into the Pacific Ocean.
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