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Earth as art

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NASA

(Read caption) Guinea-Bissau

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When the Landsat 7 satellite first spun around the globe in 1999, NASA called it the most finely tuned Earth-observing instrument ever to hit orbit. It snapped thousands of images that first year. And while accurately mapping the continents, Landsat 7 also beamed back beautiful glimpses of seemingly alien worlds.

“From 400 miles away, the earth transforms into abstract art,” writes EnvironmentalGraffiti.com. “The global landscape is impressionist, cubist and pointillist. Mother Nature is an abstract artist.”

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NASA combed through 400,000 images for a Library of Congress exhibition in 2000. And this month, EnvironmentalGraffiti culled from the finalists the “30 Most Incredible Abstract Satellite Images of Earth.”

I plucked three of their choices and posted them above, but you really need to click through their list. Their gallery even includes high-resolution downloads of each image, so you can make them your computer wallpaper.

[Via Boston Globe Idea's blog]