Earth from Space: Volcanic Canaries

October 14, 2011
The subtropical Canary Islands off Africa’s west coast are pictured in this image, acquired on 8 September 2011 by Envisat’s Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS). To the north, multiple contrails can be seen over the dark blue water. To the east, the desert flatlands of Morocco and the Western Sahara are visible. The Portuguese archipelago, Madeira, lies to the northwest. Credits: ESA

(PhysOrg.com) -- The subtropical Canary Islands off Africa’s west coast are pictured in this Envisat image.

The ’ favourable climate and beaches attract over 12 million visitors per year. Perhaps some beach-goers were on those aircraft that left the multiple contrails over the dark blue water to the north.

Because the archipelago is far away from areas with high light pollution like big cities, it is an ideal location for astronomical observations.

The island of La Palma is home to the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory and the Teide Observatory is on the island of Tenerife.

Also on Tenerife is the world’s third largest volcano, Teide. Similarities in environmental and geological conditions between Teide National Park and the planet Mars have turned this area into a testing ground for instruments that will travel to the red planet.

Earlier this week, an underwater volcanic eruption off the southern coast of the El Hierro island (in the lower-left corner) prompted authorities to evacuate hundreds from the Canaries’ smallest island.

To the east, the desert flatlands of Morocco and the Western Sahara are visible. The Portuguese archipelago, Madeira, lies to the northwest.

This image was acquired on 8 September 2011 by Envisat’s Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer.

Explore further: Earth from space: African gem

Related Stories

Earth from space: African gem

August 15, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- This Envisat image shows southern Namibia and northern South Africa on Africa's lower-west coast.

Ghostly, Ethereal Island as seen from space

February 22, 2011

Looking rather otherworldly, this haunting view of Shikotan-to island shows ghostly swirls of sea ice surrounding the snow-covered volcanic island. Also known as Ostrov Shikotan, this island is at the southern end of a volcanic ...

Earth from space: Central Europe

April 1, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- This Envisat image features an almost cloud-free look at a large portion of Europe. The Alps, with its white peaks, stand out in contrast against the vast areas still covered in brownish winter foliage.

Earth from Space: A smoke-free Iceland

June 4, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- This Envisat image features a smoke-free Iceland. Although the island has received a lot of attention in the past months for its volcanic activity, it is also home to numerous glaciers, lakes, lava and hot ...

Earth from Space: 'Black hole'

March 25, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Holbox Island and the Yalahau Lagoon on the northeast corner of Mexico?s Yucatan Peninsula are featured in this satellite image.

Wild ferrets are spreading throughout the island of La Palma

April 13, 2010

Scientists from the Canary Islands have compiled data on wild ferrets in La Palma and the damage they cause in the ecosystem, to confirm that the island is the one with the highest number of naturalised animals in the archipelago. ...

Recommended for you

US scientists raise bar for sea level by 2100

January 24, 2017

In the last days of Barack Obama's administration, US government scientists warned even more sea level rise is expected by century's end than previously estimated, due to rapid ice sheet melting at the poles.

Meteorites did not enrich ocean life: study

January 24, 2017

An explosion of ocean life some 471 million years ago was not sparked by a meteorite bombardment of Earth, said a study Tuesday that challenges a leading theory.

Swarm of underwater robots mimics ocean life

January 24, 2017

Underwater robots developed by researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego offer scientists an extraordinary new tool to study ocean currents and the tiny creatures they transport. ...

Are we ready for another massive volcanic eruption?

January 24, 2017

An enormous volcanic eruption would not necessarily plunge the world into a new societal crisis, according to a new study of the biggest eruption of the last millennium published in Nature Geoscience.

0 comments

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.