Pic of the Week: Let the Games Begin!

By Tom Yulsman | February 7, 2014 3:35 pm
Olympic Games Socchi skiing sites

A false-color image of the skiing and snowboarding sites for the Sochi Winter Olympic Games, acquired on Jan. 4, 2014, by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument on NASA’s Terra spacecraft. (Source: NASA)

The Winter Olympics in Sochi are set to begin, so I thought I’d share this remote sensing image of the skiing and snowboarding sites.

In this false color view looking southwest, the red colors are indicative of vegetation. The Rosa Khutar ski resort is in the big valley at the center of the image. Look for the runs on the shadowed slopes on the left-hand side of the valley.

Those runs do look quite radical, and I’m sure they are in many spots. But height has been exaggerated 1.5 times in this view to accentuate topographic details, according to NASA.

The image was acquired on Jan. 4, 2014 by the ASTER instrument on NASA’s Terra spacecraft.



ImaGeo is a visual blog focusing on the intersection of imagery, imagination and Earth. It focuses on spectacular visuals related to the science of our planet, with an emphasis (although not an exclusive one) on the unfolding Anthropocene Epoch.

About Tom Yulsman

Tom Yulsman is Director of the Center for Environmental Journalism and a Professor of Journalism at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He also continues to work as a science and environmental journalist with more than 30 years of experience producing content for major publications. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Audubon, Climate Central, Columbia Journalism Review, Discover, Nieman Reports, and many other publications. He has held a variety of editorial positions over the years, including a stint as editor-in-chief of Earth magazine. Yulsman has written one book: Origins: the Quest for Our Cosmic Roots, published by the Institute of Physics in 2003.


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