VSL//Amazing satellite images of planet Earth

Google Maps may have taught us to appreciate the usefulness of satellite photos, but The Guardian now has convinced us of their beauty. On its Web site, the British newspaper publishes a monthly series of satellite photos of Earth that are both stunning and humbling.

The current “Satellite Eye on Earth” features photos from European Space Agency and NASA satellites, as well as pictures snapped by spying astronauts in the International Space Station. The photos give high-resolution geographical details the look of whimsical abstraction: A sandstorm in China looks terrifying even from space; cloud formations above the Aleutian Islands ripple like a waterfall; and snow dusts the Northeastern United States like powdered sugar on a pound cake. Here’s proof that if the world isn’t attractive up close, at least you can always zoom out.

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