Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

The waters of Lake Erie drain into Lake Ontario via the Niagara River, which cuts across a 25-mile-wide stretch of land along the US/Canada border separating the two Great Lakes. The peaceful serenity of the river is interrupted, to say the least, about halfway toward its destination. I’m guessing the first word spoken after its discovery was either “wow”, or “oops”.

Queen of the Adriatic

Queen of the Adriatic

Tucked into a lagoon on the northwestern edge of the Adriatic Sea is a city with no roads. Instead, 177 canals and 409 pedestrian bridges interconnect the 118 small islands that make up the City of Venice, Italy. Everyone and everything moves around the city by waterway, including municipal transportation, garbage collection, the police, ambulance service, even the fire brigade.

Lifeboats over the Caspian Sea

Lifeboats over the Caspian Sea

The International Space Station was passing over Turkmenistan on July 26, 2015 when a crewmember shot this image of the southern extent of the Caspian Sea. The brilliant concentration of light at dead center, set somewhat inland from the coast, is the capital city of Iran - Tehran. Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, is the bright area protruding into the Caspian in the lower right third of the image.

ISS Invaded by Dragons!

ISS Invaded by Dragons!

The International Space Station was passing over the east coast of Brazil when this photo of the SpaceX Dragon capsule approaching for a rendezvous was taken on December 17, 2017. The Commercial Resupply Service mission known as CRS 13 carried about 4,800 lbs of essential scientific equipment, hardware, and crew supplies to the station. Docking was achieved via a port on the station’s Harmony module.

Now You Sea it, Now You Don’t

Now You Sea it, Now You Don’t

The dark cyan bodies of water in the upper and lower right of this image are what’s left of the Aral Sea. 

This enormous endorheic lake (a lake with limited or no drainage) once spanned large parts of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. How big was it? In 1848 three ships from the Imperial Russian Navy were sent to do a complete survey - it took two years. Once the fourth largest lake in the world, it encompassed the entire sand-colored region in the center of this picture. Today it is a small fraction of its original size.

Hawaii Shows Us What it’s Made Of

Hawaii Shows Us What it’s Made Of

Lest we forget how the Hawaiian Islands came to be there in the first place, Kilauea volcano seems eager to demonstrate the process. A volcanic hotspot in the earth’s mantle has left a 3,600 mile-long trail of islands and submerged mountains in its wake as the Pacific Plate migrates slowly above. While the other 7 islands in the Hawaiian chain are ancient artifacts of long-extinct volcanoes, the Big Island itself is still under construction. 

The Iberian Peninsula

The Iberian Peninsula

Lighting up the western coast of the Iberian Peninsula in the lower center of this image from November of 2017 is the only European capital city to lie on the Atlantic coast - Lisbon, Portugal. The intensity of its electric light output contrasts its legacy as one of the oldest cities in the world - older by centuries than either Paris or London, and even older than Rome.