A few years ago while working on a story about wildfires, writer Adam Voiland of NASA Earth Observatory spotted a satellite image of a smoke plume over Canada in the shape of the letter ‘V.’
The image made him wonder if he could track all 26 letters of the English alphabet using only satellite imagery and astronaut photography.
With the help of readers and colleagues, Voiland was able to compile stunning alphabet imagery formed by Earth’s natural wonders such as swirling clouds, phytoplankton blooms and landscapes.
When it came to writing captions for the photographs, Voiland was inspired by Dr. Seuss’s ABC. For the letter ‘A’, he wrote:
“A, what begins with A? There is Antarctica and the Arctic, algal blooms, acid rain, and the atmosphere. And aerosols altering an astronaut’s view of this ancient assemblage of rock in a state adjacent to Arizona!”
The collection of NASA alphabet imagery is still a work in progress and Voiland is encouraging anyone who can provide a better example of any letter, whether in cursive or script, to contact NASA with the date, latitude and longitude.
The N-E-W-S-H-O-U-R had fun with the natural letters.