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Italy in an espresso cup

22 August 2013

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A cloudless view of central and northern Italy, the snow-capped Alps and the European heartland was snapped by an experimental camera, smaller than an espresso cup, aboard ESA's minisatellite PROBA-2.

The black and white image gives a wider perspective than a standard Earth observation instrument, more like an astronaut's eye view, but was taken at around double the altitude that human crews currently fly, at more than 700 km up.

A sequence of crater lakes can be seen along central Italy - from south to north, Lake Bracciano, the smaller Lake Vico, Lake Bolsena and Lake Trasimeno. The Apennine chain of mountains is also visible, forming the spine of the Italian peninsula. Sardinia and Corsica are viewed towards bottom left.

Source: European Space Agency (ESA)

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