Thousands of football fans will pack New Jersey's MetLife Stadium for an epic Super Bowl showdown on live television today (Feb. 2), but here is one view you can only get from a satellite: The Super Bowl stadium as seen from space.
A NASA satellite spotted MetLife Stadium from orbit just days before today's Super Bowl XLVIII contest between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks. The view, captured by NASA's Earth Observing-1 satellite, shows the stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., as it appeared on Jan. 30.
"In the image, the south end of the stadium casts a long winter shadow over the field," Mike Carlowicz, chief editor of NASA's Earth Observatory, wrote in an image description. "MetLife is part of the Meadowlands Sports Complex, which includes the Meadowlands Racetrack (horse racing) and the Izod Center (indoor arena, east of MetLife, along the New Jersey Turnpike). A crust of snow, ice, and salt make the surrounding parking lots appear gray."
Super Bowl XLVIII is the first to be held in an outdoor stadium in a northern, cold-weather environment. In the last 48 years, the big game has been held either in a warmer region, or indoors. Despite recent snowstorms (current forecasts predict some snow late today), the weather is expected to be acceptable for the Super Bowl kickoff today.
Marshy "meadowlands" cam be seen around the MetLife Stadium as segmented brown patches, Carlowicz wrote. Some land around the sports and entertainment complex has been reclaimed and restored as wetlands for local wildlife.
"The wildlife this weekend will be in the stadium and its parking lots as Americans celebrate the big game," Carlowicz wrote.
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Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of Space.com and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became Space.com's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining Space.com, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. In October 2022, Tariq received the Harry Kolcum Award for excellence in space reporting from the National Space Club Florida Committee. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. You can find Tariq at Space.com and as the co-host to the This Week In Space podcast with space historian Rod Pyle on the TWiT network. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter @tariqjmalik.