2014-05-14

Picture of Earth from Orbit in Cosmos S01E07

Nowadays the interwebz abounds with beautiful images of our Earth from orbit. Lately I have picked up the habit of trying to figure out what part of our world is visible when I see such an image. It is usually quite a puzzle, since the scale of the picture is not always obvious, parts of it are always obscured by clouds, the North can really be anywhere, and worst of all, countries are not painted with different colours! (Duh!) I am usually successful in this, but today I had a real tough one.

A couple of seconds into Cosmos: S01E07, there is a picture of Earth from orbit. Click on the picture below and see if you can identify the visible land before reading further down.



You might think that it is really obvious, but then try to verify your hypothesis by comparing the picture above against google earth, and whoops, you will see that you were wrong.

So, what's going on?


Ready for the solution?

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Well, it is simple: it is, indeed, Gibraltar, but the image displayed in Cosmos has been mirrored. So, even though the Atlantic Ocean appears to the left, and the Mediterranean Sea to the right, Morocco is up, and Spain is down, instead of the other way around.

Why, oh why?

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