Earth from above

Readers of 'Kidspace' will recognize this feature as what we editors call a "photo quiz." But this time, instead of showing you close-up images, we've stepped back - way back - to test your knowledge. These images were taken by satellites or astronauts orbiting high above the earth. Aren't they beautiful? You can see more at:


(1) San Francisco, which is known for its fog. The Transamerica Pyramid (the pointy-topped building located at the center top of the image), completed in 1972, was built with sloping sides so it wouldn't block as much light as a traditional rectangular skyscraper would. (2) Uluru, or Ayers Rock, is in Australia's outback. Tourists visit at sunrise and sunset, when slanting sunlight gives it a deep red glow. (3) Angkor Wat in Cambodia was built between AD 1113 and 1150 by Khmer King Suryavarman II as a Hindu temple or 'wat.' The complex was built as a representation of Mt. Meru, home of the gods. A 570-foot-wide moat, representing the oceans at the edge of the universe, surrounds it. The five pointed towers in the innermost courtyard symbolize the five peaks of Mt. Meru. (4) These ice fields are in Patagonia, part of Argentina at the tip of South America. Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan used the Portuguese-Spanish word 'patagones' ('big feet') to describe the natives he met who wore skins stuffed with grasses (for insulation against the cold) on their feet. The valleys forming the star shape near the top of the photo were carved by glaciers. (5) This estuary is on the northwestern coast of Madagascar, off the east coast of Africa. The many islands and sandbars were formed by sediment carried by the river and the push and pull of ocean tides. (6) Niagara Falls on the Niagara River, which lies along the United States-Canadian border between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. Three waterfalls make up Niagara Falls: the Canadian (or Horseshoe) Falls, shown here, and the American and Bridal Veil falls further downstream. Niagara is a simplification of the Iroquois name 'Onguiaahra,' which means 'the strait.' (7) This 'sand sea,' located in eastern Algeria, is considered part of the Sahara Desert. The Issaouan Erg alone is as big as the Mojave Desert in the American Southwest. The patterns of the dunes are created by wind.

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