ESA’s newest Earth from Space video, released September 11, 2020, takes us over the Amazon River as it meanders through the Amazon rainforest in South America, thanks to images captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellite mission.
The Amazon River begins its journey in the Andes and makes its way east through six South American countries before emptying into the Atlantic Ocean on the northeast coast of Brazil. The river has a length of around 4,000 miles (6,400 km), about the distance from New York City to Rome.
The Amazon is considered the widest river in the world, with a width of between 1 and 6.2 miles (1.6 to 10 km), which expands during the wet season to around 30 miles (50 km). As a consequence of its ever-changing flow, older riverbeds can be seen as thin lines around the main river at the top of the image above.
The Amazon River has more than 1,000 tributaries, and its watershed is the largest drainage system in the world. One of its tributaries, the Javari River, or Yavari River, is visible as a thinner blue line weaving through the tropical rainforest. The river flows for 540 miles (870 km), forming the border between Brazil and Peru, before joining the Amazon River.
In the above image, cities and built-up areas are visible in cyan (greenish blue), for example the cities of Tabatinga, Brazil, and Leticia, Colombia. Two airports are identifiable on the far right. The yellow and orange colors in the image show the surrounding Amazon forest.
Bottom line: ESA’s newest Earth from Space video takes us over the Amazon River as it meanders through the Amazon rainforest in South America.
Eleanor Imster has helped write and edit EarthSky since 1995. She was an integral part of the award-winning EarthSky radio series almost since it began until it ended in 2013. Today, as Lead Editor at EarthSky.org, she helps present the science and nature stories and photos you enjoy. She also serves as one of the voices of EarthSky on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and G+. She and her husband live in Tennessee and have two grown sons.