NASA image: Reading the alphabet from space

January 1, 2016 by Adam Voiland
Credit: NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team

NASA's Earth Observatory has tracked down images resembling all 26 letters of the English alphabet using only NASA satellite imagery and astronaut photography. In this image, the letter 'Y' is for yardangs, elongated landforms sculpted by erosion and similar to sand dunes, but instead comprised of sandstone or siltstone.

On December 25, 2000, the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA's Terra satellite captured this false-color image of the Ugab River running through what appears to be a field of yardangs in northern Namibia.

Explore further: NASA MASTER infrared view of the Powerhouse Fire, California

Related Stories

NASA satellite observes damage path of april tornadoes

May 9, 2011

Recent images of the April 27 storm damage path have been captured by NASA's Terra satellite, part of NASA's Earth Observing Satellite system, or EOS. An instrument aboard Terra, called Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission ...

Deserts and dunes—Earth as an analogue for Titan

November 6, 2015

By comparing radar images of areas on Titan to those of Earth's deserts, scientists have identified two distinct types of sand dune on Saturn's largest moon – and discovered eroded structures that indicate that Titan's ...

NASA spacecraft sees tornado's destructive swath

June 6, 2013

( —A new image from the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument on NASA's Terra spacecraft shows the extent of destruction from the deadly Newcastle-Moore tornado that ...

Image: Greenland's Leidy Glacier

January 23, 2015

Located in the northwest corner of Greenland, Leidy Glacier is fed by ice from the Academy Glacier (upstream and inland). As Leidy approaches the sea, it is diverted around the tip of an island that separates the Olriks Fjord ...

Recommended for you

Entire Himalayan arc can produce large earthquakes

October 26, 2016

The main fault at the foot of the Himalayan mountains can likely generate destructive, major earthquakes along its entire 2,400-kilometer (1,500-mile) length, a new study finds. Combining historical documents with new geologic ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.