NASA Shows Ireland From Space for St. Patrick’s Day
On August 7, 2003, the NASA Aqua MODIS instrument acquired this image of Ireland on the first day that summer that most of the island wasn't completely obscured by cloud cover.
Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

If wearing green and watching a parade isn't enough for you this St. Patrick's Day, NASA has unveiled the emerald day's Irish homeland as it appears from space.

Ireland takes center stage in a series of archived NASA satellite images released today by the agency's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

The views, taken by NASA's Aqua satellite and other spacecraft, reveal Ireland as a verdant island covered in bright green vegetation. Ribbons of blue-green phytoplankton can be seen faintly in the Celtic Sea just off the island's coast and south of Dublin.

Dublin, the capital of the Republic of Ireland, appears as a large gray-brown spot on Ireland's northeastern coast. Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, can also be spotted as a gray-brown spot on the eastern side of Ireland on the coast of the Irish Sea.

The Aqua photo was taken in 2003, but released Wednesday to mark St. Patrick's Day, NASA officials said.

Another view of Dublin, this one taken in 1994 using a radar instrument on NASA's space shuttle Endeavour and also released today, shows a close-up on the city and its natural harbor. The divisions between rural and urban areas are clearly visible in the false-color radar image.