Using almost 7000 images captured by the Sentinel-2A satellite, this mosaic offers a cloud-free view of the African continent – about 20% of the total land area in the world. The majority of these separate images were taken between December 2015 and April 2016, totaling 32 TB of data.
Copernicus Sentinel/Brockmann Consult/Université catholique de Louvain/ESA
By Justin Worland
May 19, 2016

Satellite images offer some of the most incredible images of Earth, but clouds often obscure the land humans inhabit. A composite image created by the European Space Agency gives space lovers a sense of how Africa would appear without any cloud cover.

The ESA created an image of the African continent—around a fifth of the world’s land area—completely free of clouds using a composite of nearly 7,000 images taken by the Sentinel-2A satellite. The images were primarily taken between December 2015 and April 2016.

The imaging device on Sentinel is intended to help map changes in land cover that will improve agriculture and detect pollution in waterways, according to ESA.

Write to Justin Worland at justin.worland@time.com.

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