Earth From Space: Envisat Satellite Photos

End of the Road for Envisat


Envisat’s Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) captured this image on April 8, 2012 at 11:09 GMT. The image was transmitted in X-band to the Santa Maria station in the Azores, Portugal, operated by Edisoft. It shows Spain’s Canary Islands. It is the last Envisat data transmitted via X-band before the communication anomaly.

Envisat in Orbit


The Envisat satellite launched in 2002 and unexpectedly went silent in April 2012. The satellte, however, was originally built to last five years - a mission which it completed successfully. See some of Envisat's amazing photos, including its last view of Earth we know of.

ENVISAT as Seen by Pleiades Satellite


On April 15, 2012, the French space agency CNES rotated the Pleiades Earth observation satellite to capture this image of Envisat. At a distance of about 100 km, Envisat’s main body, solar panel and radar antenna were visible.

ENVISAT Ground Image

Fraunhofer FHR

This radar image showing the Envisat satellite in orbit was produced by the ground-based tracking and imaging radar, TIRA, of the Fraunhofer Institute for High Frequency Physics and Radar Techniques in Wachtberg, Germany, on April 10, 2012.

Last Image Before Loss of Contact


Envisat’s Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) captured this image on April 8, 2012. The image, shows Portugal and Spain. It is the last Envisat data transmitted via Ka-band before the communication anomaly affected the Envisat satellite.

Envisat Spies Algae Bloom


An algae bloom in the shape of a figure 8 in the south Atlantic Ocean.

The Tibetan Plateau


Frozen lakes dotting the Tibetan Plateau in Central Asia are pictured in this image, acquired on Jan. 30, 2012 by ESA’s Envisat satellite. Part of the Himalayan mountain range is visible in the lower left corner of the image. To the northwest, part of the Kunlun mountains are visible, separating the plateau from the Tarim Basin.

Mountains of Snow


The snow-kissed Alps that stretch across France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Liechtenstein, Austria and Slovenia are captured in this Envisat image, acquired on Jan.16, 2012.

Russia’s Far East


The Sikhote–Alin mountain range in Russia’s Far East is pictured in this image, acquired on Jan. 27, 2012 . In the image, snow-covered Khanka Lake, the Sea of Japan and Russia's largest island, Sakhalin, are all visible.

Indonesian Islands


This image from the Envisat satellite is dominated by the Indonesian islands of Bali, Lombok and Sumbawa. It's a compilation of three passes by Envisat’s radar on June 20, Aug. 19 and Dec. 27, 2011.

Spitsbergen, Norway’s Largest Island


Spitsbergen, Norway’s largest island, is pictured in this image, acquired on Sep. 6, 2011 by Envisat’s Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR). Bordered by the Arctic Ocean to its north and the Greenland Sea to its west, Spitsbergen is the largest and only permanently populated island of the Svalbard archipelago.

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