ESA land monitoring highlights the Nile

The longest river in the world gives the region life.

This image from the European Space Agency’s land monitoring mission Sentinel2-A shows the Nile delta, illustrating graphically why the fertile strip has kept the Egyptian capital Cairo on the same spot for more than 1000 years.

Sentinel2-A has been in orbit since 23 June, and is a multispectral high-resolution imaging mission for land monitoring, to provide imagery of vegetation, soil and water cover, inland waterways and coastal areas.

At 6650 kilometres, the Nile River is the longest river in the world. It rises south of the equator and flows northwards through northeastern Africa, draining into the Mediterranean Sea. It has allowed the Egyptians to thrive despite the arid surrounding desert.

The area is greener on the west side as the terrain is flatter, so more easily irrigated than the higher terrain to the east.

Bill Condie

Bill Condie

Bill Condie is a science journalist based in Adelaide, Australia.

Read science facts, not fiction...

There’s never been a more important time to explain the facts, cherish evidence-based knowledge and to showcase the latest scientific, technological and engineering breakthroughs. Cosmos is published by The Royal Institution of Australia, a charity dedicated to connecting people with the world of science. Financial contributions, however big or small, help us provide access to trusted science information at a time when the world needs it most. Please support us by making a donation or purchasing a subscription today.