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From an altitude of approximately 600 km ESA's PROBA-1 satellite captured this image of the City of London, UK.

Capital city of the United Kingdom, London is also one of the largest urban zones in the European Union and is located on the River Thames which runs through the centre of this image.

Founded by the Roman Empire two thousand years ago and originally named Londinium, the settlement also served as a capital under Roman occupation until the Empire withdrew in the late 3rd and early 4th Centuries. It experienced a decline for several hundred years until the 9th Century when the city grew and gained prominence once again.

The city has continued to grow and expand ever since and today London is the most visited capital in the world and one of the leading cultural and economic centres. Over 300 languages are spoken within the city boundaries and it is estimated that one in three Londoners are foreign-born.

In 2012 London became the first city to host the Summer Olympics for the third time, after previously hosting the games in 1908 and 1948. See this related Proba-1 view of the 2012 Olympic Site.

London is also famous for its underground rail system which is the oldest running subway in the world and was also the longest until the extension of the Shanghai Metro in 2010.

A city long defined by industry, London saw radical change starting in the 1980s when it was transformed into a centre of finance instead. Canary Wharf, one of the districts of London, is a major business zone and one part of the city's financial district. An interesting side-note is that London's financial centre has more American banks than New York.

This image was acquired on 25 September 2010 by the Compact High Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (CHRIS) on PROBA-1.

Credit: European Space Agency (ESA) via Earthnet

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