Taken by a collection of three satellites orbiting Earth — Landsat 7, ASTER, and MODIS — the images above and below are part of an incredible collection of photos that were captured from space purely for their aesthetic beauty, rather than the usual scientific reasoning.
The “Earth as Art” collection offers a view of our world few ever see, capturing the intricate details of Earth’s surface. From the fractals created by the deltas of the Amazon to the contrasting colors presented by the Vatnajokull Glacier and its surrounding environment, this three-part series of color-enhanced images shows us how, even at a macro level, the world around us is as beautiful as it can be at the micro level.
Close-ups of butterfly wing scales! You should definitely click on these images to get the full detail.
I’ve paired each amazing close-up (by macro photographer Linden Gledhill) with an image of the corresponding butterfly or moth. The featured lepidoptera* are (in order of appearance):
- Madagascar diadem Hypolimnas dexithea (photo by Michel-Georges Bernard)
- Comet moth Argema mittrei (photo by Axel Strauß)
- Sunset moth Chrysiridia rhipheus (photo from Wikimedia Commons)
- Giant Blue Morpho Morpho didius (photo by Didier Descouens, Muséum de Toulouse)
- Rippon’s Birdwing Troides hypolitus (photo by Robert Nash, Ulster Museum)
*Lepidoptera (the scientific order that includes moths and butterflies) means “scaly wing.” The scales get their color not from pigment - but from microscopic structures that manipulate light.