Earth from Space: Tromsø

Hi I’m Mariangela D’Acunto and welcome back to Earth from Space from the ESA web TV studios. This week’s image from Copernicus Sentinel-2 features Tromsø the largest city in northern Norway. With Christmas almost here, this false-colour image was processed in a way that included the near-infrared
channel, which makes vegetation appear bright red. While the snow over the surrounding mountains
is visible in white, adding to the Christmassy feel of the image. Most of Tromsø, lies on the island of Tromsøya, visible at the top of the image. Owing to its northerly location, the city is a popular area to experience the
majestic phenomenon of the aurora borealis, or northern lights. Tromsø is over 300 km north of the Arctic Circle. During the winter, it’s shrouded in darkness the Sun sets in late-November and doesn’t
rise again until January. The image was captured on 15 October 2019, which means it is one of the last images that
Sentinel-2 could acquire before darkness descended. During the long winter months, the Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission is used
to monitor this region instead of Sentinel-2. As an advanced radar mission, in fact, Sentinel-1 can image the surface of Earth
through cloud and rain and regardless of whether it is day or night. In September, the German research icebreaker Polarstern left from Tromsø for the biggest shipborne
polar expedition of all time, which involves the icebreaker spending a year
drifting in the Arctic sea ice. The data gathered will be used to better understand the impact
of climate change on sea ice and the Arctic environment. And that’s all for this year, but we will be back with you in January. From the ESA web TV Studios, I’m Mariangela D’Acunto. We wish you all a very merry festive season
and a happy new year!


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