Earth as art: Stunning images from space make planet appear like abstract paintings

These stunning images may look like abstract paintings, but they are actually aerial images of Planet Earth.

Valencia

Valencia

The eye-opening set includes vibrant colours, formations that look like people, and simply breath-taking-yet-recognisable landscapes, such as rainforests.

They are the fourth instalment of a series called ‘Earth As Art’ which is overseen by the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Lbrija Solar Power Plant

Lbrija Solar Power Plant

Images are shot by the satellite Landsat 8, which collects more than 700 images across the globe every day, and provides a complete view of the Earth’s surface every 16 days.

As part of their search through Landsat data, analysts occasional come across unique patterns, which they then flag up to the office overseeing the Earth as Art series.

Puente de Vallecas, Madrid

Puente de Vallecas, Madrid

Once around 60 images have been identified, a team works together to select the latest instalment in the series.

All four collections, which began being collected in 2000, total 168 images.

Madrid Highway Interchange

Madrid Highway Interchange

Jan Nelson, Communications and Outreach Specialist, USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science Center, said: “Beyond the scientific information that Landsat images convey, many of them are also strikingly beautiful.

“They show astonishing patterns and abstractions of vivid colours and spectacular natural patterns and textures in the space-based views of the Earth.

Olive Tree Plantation, Cordoba

Olive Tree Plantation, Cordoba

“Taken from the latest Landsat 8 satellite, each selected image in this fourth collection in the Earth as Art series exhibits unanticipated educational value, intriguing viewers with their beauty while providing an unusual avenue of insight about the geography of the featured landscape.”