Sunday, May 24, 2015

Manhattan From Space

It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's...

Click on the picture for a full-size view.

One of the themes of this blog is pictures of Manhattan. I know, that topic doesn't grab everyone, but since that's where I live, well, it's unlikely to change.

Astronaut Scott Kelly took the above view of Manhattan. No, it's not from an airplane, or a drone, or a balloon. It is from space.

Kelly took the picture of the island of Manhattan from the International Space Station Saturday, 23 May 2015. Photo courtesy of NASA.

To me, incidentally, the most interesting thing about the shot is the impressive view that it gives of Riker's Island. That is the state prison at the very top of the picture, right next to La Guardia airport. It as the large island at the end of the unusually long causeway. Not having been there (no, really) and never having seen very many pictures of it, I'm impressed by how large it is and how much detail you can make out. Further east (meaning, towards the top of this shot) and out of view is another island, Hart Island, where thousands of indigent New Yorkers are buried. Yes, New York City has a habit of doing odd things with its islands - Roosevelt Island (in the middle of the island), for instance had an insane asylum on it that still stands.

The large green spaces in Queens to the upper right are cemeteries, I believe. Yankee Stadium is visible to the left, while the relatively new Hudson River Park and Chelsea Pier - right down the street from my own corner of the universe, and the destination of the Titanic back in the day - stand out surprisingly well down at the lower right.

Overall, a terrific shot that shows how much some alien civilization will be able to see about our own lifestyle when the light waves hit them in a few centuries.