South African satellite mosaics, the Taj Mahal sinking, and Dubai’s impressive night lights

EarthzineEarth Observation, Original

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For our second Best Of Syndication, we again take a look around the world with some of our favorite syndicated posts from striking images of the Japanese tsunami damage, to the incredible city lights of Dubai, to the health implications of a mild winter and its effects on mosquito populations.

Photo  of the Taj Mahal. Credit BBC.Architects Fear Taj Mahal is Slowly Sinking – Originally Published by BBC News.
Agra, India’s famed Taj Mahal – a token of love built in the 1600’s – might be slowly sinking. As the Yamuna River slowly dries up, the building’s foundations are being compromised as the soil it rests upon derives much of its strength from soil moisture provided by the river.

Satellite image of smoke in Thailand. Credit: NASA EOSoutheast Asia Shrouded by Smoke – Originally Published by NASA Earth Observatory.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured amazing images of much of Northern Thailand smothered with smoke from forest and agricultural fires. The same day, the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on NASA’s Earth Observing 1 (EO-1) satellite brought us an even closer look at one of the numerous fires.

blushing red as she fills up on blood, a female Culex erraticus mosquito taps a mammal. Weather the previous winter plays a large role in when this species makes its annual shift from bird to mostly mammal blood.Courtesy of Nathan Burkett-CadenaMild Winters May Shift Spread of Mosquito-borne Illness – Originally Published by Science News.
The Culex erraticus mosquito carries eastern equine encephalitis – an uncommon but lethal disease – and it appears that the severity of the previous winter determines how soon the insects switch from feeding on birds to feeding on mammals. Severe winters seem to push the switch back, while mild winters usually meant an earlier switch.

Satellite image of damage caused by the tsunami. Credit: NASA Earth OBservatoryCloseup of Tsunami Damage, Rikuzentakata – Originally Published by NASA Earth Observatory.
One year after the devastating tsunami in Japan, NASA Earth Observatory takes us back to impressive images taken by the Worldview-2 satellite showing the destruction in Rikuzentakata in Northeastern Japan.

Shot from a Video showing a shark feeding frenzy. Credit the GuardianShark Feeding Frenzy Off Australian Coast – Originally Published by The Guardian.
The crew of a sea rescue helicopter caught amazing video footage of a shark feeding frenzy off the coast of Perth, Australia. The sharks are feeding on tuna, who are themselves feeding on smaller fish, while sea birds dive for the scraps.

Satellite image of the city lights of Dubai. Credit: NASACity Lights of Dubai, United Arab Emirates – Originally Published by NASA Earth Observatory.
Dubai at night ranks among the favorite areas for astronaut photography. With its collection of man-made islands in the Persian Gulf offering striking imagery from space, it’s no wonder.

ZA-002 SumbandilaSat (upper right) integration on Fregat at Baikonur.South Africa 2011 Satellite Imagery Mosaic Now Available – Originally Published by Engineering News.
The South African National Space Agency (Sansa) has released the latest edition of its mosaic of satellite imagery encompassing all of South Africa. Comprised of 952 images, the mosaic can be used for any of a number of purposes including but not limited to urban planning, agriculture, and forestry monitoring.