An Aerial View of Africa by Courtesy of NASA………..
A Storm over Ghana ? Yes you got that right. Slant the vertical map of Ghana — as we usually imagine it — completely to the horizontal in the clockwise direction and you’ll realise the above image assumes the same posture, with the coastal regions of Ghana to the right and the Gulf of Guinea to the left. You can even spot the Weija Reservoir in the image — that lone tiny water body shaped like an anchor just at the bottom-centre, left of the storming vortex.
To get the full picture, view the complete high-resolution image below, by courtesy of NASA, and relish the spectacular Ghanaian worldscape as you trace and follow the trail along the divide of the ocean and the coastal lands to the breathtaking curvature of the earth at a global horizon.
(And while you’re at it, I invite you to walk through warm sands in Africa with Enya’s choral Storms in Africa and vocal Storms in Africa II, as you also bless the rains down in Africa with the song, Africa, by Toto. Surely, you must agree that every breathtaking scene deserves breathtaking music 😉, right?)
According to the NASA Image, Audio, and Video library, the swirling cloud formations you see in the picture “are storms over Ghana” taken from an “Earth observation. . . during a day pass by the Expedition 37 crew.”
But there’s a lot more to the subject. Ghana happens to be only just a single pixel in a grander picture. CNN African Voices recently reported that “NASA just made thousands of aerial images of Africa available to the public.” This is a new initiative by NASA “that features over 140,000 items from all over this planet, and beyond” from both “recent and historic missions” in a newly launched public image, video, and audio online library.
The striking aerial charm of “how the Atlas Mountains in northwestern Africa dominate the geography of Morocco” in the image below, plus that of the storms brewing over Ghana above, for instance, provides a composite taste of what to expect.
CNN has also provided an array of tasteful photo slides to whet your appetite, showcasing aerial images of Africa from the Egyptian Pyramids at Gaza between Cairo and the Sahara Desert, to the ancient city of Carthage in Tunisia and beyond to a view of Mount Kilimanjaro of Tanzania covered in snow.
For a more technical audience, the NASA library also features “captions that allow the public to understand the pieces in their original context, including dates, locations and in some cases, camera information such as which lens was used.” They have also added subtitle files for videos and made it easy to embed images into web pages.
And what is more, making these awe-inspiring resources (which are “generally are not copyrighted” and can be used “without needing explicit permission” as per the Media Usage Guidelines of NASA) readily accessible, downloadable, and widely available to the public is a telling indication that “NASA is encouraging the public to make use of [them] for their own storytelling.”
Storytelling. Here at 360Gh, we’re all about storytelling. If, like us, you’re interested in “using various forms of storytelling. . . to tell and share. . . stories from Africa that redefine us”, then, by all means, check out the NASA Image, Video, and Audio Library on Africa.
WRITER- RICHARD YAW BAAFI