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The year at ESA

© – contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2021), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

At the European Space Agency (ESA) on 17 December readers were invited to view the Year in Images 2021, the year through the lens with a selection of twenty-four of ESA’s favourite images for the year.

One of them, captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission on 30 September, shows the flow of lava from the volcano erupting on the Spanish island of La Palma. The cascade of lava can be seen spilling into the Atlantic Ocean, extending the size of the coastline. This ‘lava delta’ covered about 20 hectares when the image was taken.

This Sentinel-2 image has been processed in true colour, using the shortwave infrared channel to highlight the lava flow. The Sentinel-2 mission is based on a constellation of two identical satellites, each carrying an innovative wide swath high-resolution multispectral imager with 13 spectral bands for monitoring changes in Earth’s land and vegetation.