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The eye in the sky sees all

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With files dating back to April 1999, the Image of the Week archive offers an impressively varied collection, with some images chosen to coincide with contemporary cultural events (e.g. "The Gates" in New York's Central Park), and others for their connection to hard news items. (Many, if not most of us, have seen the IKONOS pre- and post-attack images of the World Trade Center.) Still other photos are simply included as visual treats (from the intricate maze of the streets and waterways of Venice, to the abstract beauty of Uluru - Ayer's Rock - in Australia), and on rare occasions, the eye even turns outward. (For the 31st anniversary of the first moon landing, IKONOS captured the Sea of Tranquility from Earth orbit.)

Each Image of the Week selection is given its own page with a paragraph or two of description and links to the featured photograph in four file sizes - designed to fill computer screens from 640x480 to 1280x960 pixels. For highest detail, it's best to choose the largest image available - you can always scroll around if you've got a smaller screen. Occasionally, accompanying text will also include links to press releases, which themselves will often lead to more images.

In addition to the Image of the Week archive, the Gallery offers a handful of multi-image "Feature" collections - including a global survey of Ancient Observatories, and 2004's "Athens Olympics Explorer." (No doubt a similar exhibition will be ready in time for the Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy.) Space Imaging also has more recent features documenting the effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, with images that include sobering 'before and after' comparisons of the Superdome and surrounding areas.

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