The light emanating from the orb in the image above looks breathtakingly magical, doesn’t it? Yet, unfortunately, it is something far more sinister: it is a solar flare being emitted by the sun, and if scientists are correct, such phenomena could do everything from ruining our communication systems to practically destroying our planet. The reality about solar flares, however, probably lies somewhere in between these ideas of destruction and the mysterious beauty we see.
For the last few centuries, artists have been exploring Earth’s untamed and awe-inspiring vistas, often as an antidote to life in the modern world. They evoked the grandeur of the Hudson River, the peace of Scandinavian fiords, or the omnipotent power of the ocean. This romantic ideal today has gained a new vantage point, from space, and a new set of brushes for capturing the beauty of our planet.
Landsat images feature colors tuned to record geological or even human forces at work. More than that, though, this great gallery of Earth explores its timeless beauty, its uncertain path forward.