Images of Spain’s Sierra Nevada as seen from space, stitched together with landmarks and mountains identified.
I quite often browse my favourite places on earth using that wonderful online resource Image Science and Analysis Laboratory, NASA-Johnson Space Center. “The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth.” Recently I came across 3 photos of the mountains of the Sierra Nevada that I hadn’t seen before. I decided to download, stitch together and try to identify known landmarks and mountains.
This is not at first sight an easy task. Have a look below at the first stitched image and you will see what I mean. You will need to click on the photo to enlarge it. It is a jumble of shadows and lines. All we can tell is that the highest points must have snow on them.
The clue to the whole thing is to be found by searching for the Sierra Nevada ski station at Pradollano. Once that is identified things fall into place.
The angle of the sun also helps in identifying valleys and directions. I believed that the photos were shot early morning in winter. This was confirmed by searching the photo data attached to the original shot. Turns out it was shot on “2009:12:02 08:43:35″ (also Spacecraft Altitude: 179 nautical miles (332 km) and Sun Elevation Angle: 14 (Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point))
Here is the resulting effort with what I believe to be correctly identified landmarks. Mulhacén and Veleta were quite easy but the summit of Alcazaba more difficult. Funnily enough the Refugio Poqueira stands out very well. Please let me know if I have made any errors.
Links to original images:
Image Science and Analysis Laboratory, NASA-Johnson Space Center. “The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth.”
Further images worth viewing are shown below.
The first one shows my town of Lanjarón nestled beneath the mighty white peaks of the Sierra Nevada. To the north west can be seen the city of Granada and the Sierra de Huetor. South is the Sierra de Lugar and the Alpujarras.
This next shot is concentrated on the Veleta area. Can you identify the summit? Not easy as the shadows confuse things. Once identified it is still hard to follow the progression of natural ridges and valleys. Even Mulhacen gets into the act, lower right. Great shot though!