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10 landmarks you can see from space

The Amazon River is pictured from the International Space Station as it orbited 260 miles above Brazil in South America.
The Amazon River as seen from the International Space Station.NASA
  • The International Space Station has the best view of some of Earth's most iconic landmarks.

  • Astronauts can see man-made structures, including the Pyramids of Giza and Dubai's Palm Islands.

  • Natural landmarks, such as the Grand Canyon and the Amazon River, can also be observed from the ISS.

Across the world, incredible sites — both natural and man-made — characterize our planet.

The International Space Station, at 250 miles above Earth, can even see some of these structures, capturing them in images that prove they are just as iconic from above as they are on the ground.

Here are 10 of these landmarks.

The Amazon River journeys through the Andes Mountains of Peru and flows through Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela, and Brazil before reaching the Atlantic Ocean.

The Amazon River surrounded by Peruvian rainforest.
The Amazon River surrounded by Peruvian rainforest.Mariusz Kluzniak/Getty Images

Source: Britannica

As the world's second-longest river and biggest by volume, it is relatively easy to spot from space. It runs for more than 4,000 miles.

The Amazon River is pictured from the International Space Station as it orbited 260 miles above Brazil in South America.
The Amazon River seen from the International Space Station.NASA

Source: Britannica

Wadi Rum, a valley of dunes, canyons, sandstone mountains, and aged petroglyphs in Jordan, has been used in films such as "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" and "The Martian."

Rocks in Wadi Rum, Jordan desert at sunset.
Rocks in Wadi Rum at sunset.Anton Petrus/Getty Images

Source: National Geographic, Insider, Insider

Wadi Rum, which is known as the "Valley of the Moon" by Jordanians, can also be seen clearly from space.

Wadi Rum is a protected area and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011.
Wadi Rum is a protected area and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011.NASA

Source: National Geographic

The Golden Gate Bridge's consulting architect Irving Morrow preferred the "international orange" color of the nearly 9,000-foot, single-span suspension bridge as it increased its visibility amid the San Francisco fog.

Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California.
Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California.Coyright Roy Prasad/Getty Images

Source: History.com

The International Space Station provides the best view of the Golden Gate Bridge in winter months when fog is lighter and days are shorter.

The Golden Gate Bridge links San Francisco with the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in northern California.
The Golden Gate Bridge links San Francisco with the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.Roscosmos/NASA

One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the Grand Canyon is an incredible landmark that formed millions of years ago.

View over the South and North Rim in the Grand Canyon
View over the South and North Rim in the Grand Canyon.Amanda Mohler/Shutterstock

Source: Grand Canyon Conservancy

To astronauts, the Grand Canyon resembles a long, flowing river at 277 miles long, 18 miles wide, and more than a mile deep in some places. They're the lucky few to see the canyon in its entirety.

Northern Arizona and the Grand Canyon are captured in this pair of Multi-angle Imaging Spectroradiometer (MISR) images from December 31, 2000.
Northern Arizona and the Grand Canyon are captured in this pair of Multi-angle Imaging Spectroradiometer (MISR) images.NASA/GSFC/LaRC/JPL

Source: Grand Canyon Conservancy

Another of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World can be found in this coral sea, located off Australia's northeastern coast, where the biggest coral-reef system in the world exists: The Great Barrier Reef.

The Great Barrier Reef.
The Great Barrier Reef.Grant Faint/Getty Images

Source: UNESCO

Also visible from the ISS, the Great Barrier Reef extends over 1,430 miles and contains almost 3,000 reefs and 890 islands, 400 coral types, 1,500 fish species, 4,000 mollusks, and over 200 bird species.

An astronaut aboard the International Space Station used a powerful lens to photograph these three reefs in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
Three reefs in Australia's Great Barrier Reef.NASA

Source: UNESCO

The Kennecott Copper Mine, also known as the Bingham Canyon Mine, is located near Salt Lake City in Utah. It's the world's largest man-made excavation.

Aerial view of the Kennecott Copper Mine, which is the largest man-made excavation.
A view of the Kennecott Copper Mine.YegoroV/Shutterstock

Source: Mining Technology, Smithsonian Magazine

The Kennecott Copper Mine is one of the world's great open-pit mines at 2.5 miles wide and half a mile deep. It has been in operation for over a century.

The Kennecott Copper Mine, southwest of Salt Lake City, Utah, is one of the largest open-pit mines in the world
The Kennecott Copper Mine seen from space.NASA

Source: Mining Technology

The Himalayas have an average elevation of 20,000 feet and cover approximately 1,500 miles across countries including Pakistan, Nepal, India, China, and Bhutan.

The Himalaya Mountain range located in Nepal.
The Himalaya mountain range in Nepal.www.anotherdayattheoffice.org/Getty Images

Source: PBS

Few mountain ranges compare to the snow-covered Himalayas: The range is visible hundreds of miles above Earth's surface to astronauts on the ISS.

The city of Kathmandu, Nepal, seen at the bottom left of this Landsat 9 image, lies in a valley south of the Himalayan Mountains between Nepal and China.
The city of Kathmandu, Nepal, seen at the bottom left of this Landsat 9 image, lies in a valley south of the Himalayan Mountains between Nepal and China.NASA/USGS

Source: Insider

Palm Jumeirah of Dubai's unfinished Palm Islands is made of approximately 3.9 billion cubic feet of sand. Workers dredged up sand from the bottom of the Persian Gulf to create the shape.

Aerial view of Palm Jumeirah, a manmade island in Dubai
Aerial view of Palm Jumeirah, a man-made island in Dubai.Delpixart/Getty Images

Source: Condé Nast Traveler

Palm Jumeirah, one of three artificial Palm Islands and the only one completed so far, is the largest artificial island in the world in the shape of a palm tree.

The Palm Islands are artificial islands in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The Palm Islands are artificial islands in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team

Source: Britannica

The Pyramids of Giza were built by the Ancient Egyptians in about 2500 BC. They remain the only one of the Seven Wonders of the World still standing.

Pyramids of Giza in Egypt at sunset.
Pyramids of Giza in Egypt at sunset.Ratnakorn Piyasirisorost/Getty Images

Source: New 7 Wonders

NASA astronauts on the Alpha space station snapped photos of Giza's pyramids for the first time in 2001.

Pyramids at Giza, Egypt are featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 32 crew member on the International Space Station.
Pyramids at Giza, Egypt, are featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 32 crew member on the International Space Station.NASA

Source: NASA

 

The Suez Canal is a 120-mile-long canal that represents a crucial trade route between Europe and Asia by cutting out what would be a two-week journey around Africa. Every day, more than 50 ships move through the canal.

View of the containers loaded on the cargo ship while transiting Suez Canal.
View of the containers loaded on the cargo ship while transiting Suez Canal.Mariusz Bugno/Shutterstock

Source: Britannica

The Suez Canal, the surrounding dense urban development, and the desert landscape can be seen clearly by astronauts.

The Suez Canal runs north to south across the Isthmus of Suez in northeastern Egypt.
The Suez Canal runs north to south across the Isthmus of Suez in northeastern Egypt.NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team

Source: Britannica

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