What can be seen on earth from space?

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There is a longstanding myth that the Great Wall of China is the only manmade object visible from space. It and several variations on the theme are great fodder for water cooler arguments. In reality, many human constructs can be seen from Earth orbit. Shuttle astronauts can see highways, airports, dams and even large vehicles from an Earth orbit that is about 135 miles (217 kilometers) high. Cities are clearly distinct from surrounding countryside, and that's true even from the higher perch of the International Space Station, which circles the planet at about 250 miles (400 kilometers) up. "You can see an awful lot from space," says astronaut Ed Lu, the science officer of Expedition Seven aboard the station. "You can see the pyramids from space, especially with a pair of binoculars. They are a little difficult to pick out with just your eyes." Egyptian pyramids have been photographed from space several times with standard digital cameras and high-powered lenses. The largest pyramid at Giza, on the outskirts of Cairo, is 745 feet (227 meters) wide and 449 feet (137 meters) tall. "With binoculars you can see an awful lot of things," Lu wrote via e-mail in fielding a question from an Earthbound space fan. "You can see roads. You can see harbors. You can even see ships; very large tankers on the ocean we can see using the binoculars." There are some surprises, too. "You can see airplane contrails, and occasionally at the end of an airplane contrail, you will see a glint of sunlight off the airplane," Lu says. "And very occasionally, you do see other satellites go by. It is kind of a neat thing to see." There are of course places in space from which you can't notice how humans have sculpted the planet. Apollo astronauts could not make out manmade features from the Moon, for example. And from Mars, Earth would appear to the naked eye as nothing but a bright "star" in the night sky. So what about the Great Wall of China? "You can see the Great Wall," Lu says. But it's less visible than a lot of other objects. And you have to know where to look. In fact stretches of the wall aren't even visible from China. They've been buried by sand for centuries. NASA has used space-based radar to map out hidden parts of the ancient structure. Lu is trying to get a picture of it, too, with a digital camera. "The weather hasn't cooperated," he says. "There has been a lot of clouds and haze over that area since I've been trying. But I hope to be successful before I come back down."
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Is Antarctica the only thing on Earth seen from space?

No, Antarctica is not the only place that has been seen from space by astronauts. It has been said that one can clearly see the Great Wall of China from space. Also there are

Why can supernova explosions in space be seen but not heard on earth?

Because sound needs a material medium to travel through, and can't go anywhere through the vacuum of space. Besides, even if it could, it would take sound ... moving at t

What is the only man made structure on earth that can be seen from space?

The Great Wall of China was said to be the only man-made structureon earth visible from space. However astronauts have tried to seeit and failed. If you go on Google Earth or

Why are supernova explosions in space seen but not heard on earth?

Sound travels through air or solid material. There is no air inouter space. Adding on would like to mention that sound waves required medium totravel, in order to do so it mus

What objects can be seen on the earth from outer space?

It is a myth that the Great Wall of China can be seen from space. There are no man-made features on Earth that are visible with the naked eye from the Space Shuttle's windows.

What objects in space can NOT be seen on Earth?

Anything that is too far away or doesn't emit enough light. No planetoid can't be seen with the naked eye. Most stars, even the closest ones, can't be seen with the naked eye,

Can countries be seen looking at Earth from outer space?

No, and this has been shown time and again by photographs taken byastronauts. Although built environments such as towns and citiescan be made out, no political boundaries of a