Silver and blue waters surround Greece in this true-color image acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer ( MODIS ) on NASAs Terra satellite on August 19, 2004. This year, Athens is host to the 2004 Olympic Games, which first started in Greece over 2,800 years ago (in 776 BCE). Athens is the greyish spot roughly in the center of this image on the southern end of the Grecian mainland. Anciently, the Olympic games were held in the city of Olympia, which was located on the northwestern side of the Peloponnese island. Modern-day Greece is a nation of many islands, but in ancient times, Greece was a loose confederation of city-states that usually only came together as a whole to defend themselves from invaders. Ancient Greece is often noted for being the birthplace of Western philosophy. Socrates, Isocrates, Plato, Aristotle, Pythagoras, and Gorgias are just a few of the most famous philosophers to come out of Greece. Athens, the modern-day capital of Greece and one of the strongest city-states in ancient times, sits across the bay from Peloponnese island (lower left of center). Peloponnese was home to Sparta, a city-state that was often at odds with Athens. Sparta was located just north of the center of the three south-facing fingers of the island.
Source: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC


This true-color image acquired from MODIS on June 6, 2001, shows Greece along with its neighboring countries: Italy, Albania, Macedonia, and Turkey, from left to right respectively.
Source: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team

Sun glint over the Aegean Sea

Sunglint cuts a diagonal line across this Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image of Greece and the Aegean Sea. Seen as a tan washed-out strip, sunglint occurs when the satellite is directly in line with sunlight being reflected from the water. If the water had been perfectly smooth, an image of the sun would have been reflected from its surface. But since each individual wave is acting as a mirror, the sunlight is scattered making it appear in a swath. In this image, sunglint highlights wave patterns on the Aegean Sea (top) and the Sea of Crete (bottom). Active fire detections are represented by red squares in this image taken on July 23, 2003.
Source: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC


Three bodies of water are putting on a different face for this Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image from June 9, 2002, of Greece (left of center and islands). At upper right, the southwest portion of the Black Sea is awash in color produced by the reflection of light off chlorophyll and other pigments in the marine plant life. At the center of the image, sun glint (glare) off the calm waters of the Aegean Sea gives it a washed out appearance. At the southwest corner of the image, sun glint on the Mediterranean Sea is being softened by airborne dust that is blowing up from North Africa (south of this scene). At right is the mountainous region of Turkey, at top center is the southern portion of Bulgaria, and to its left, Macedonia.
Source: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Greece receiving concentrations of dust

Northern Africa started exporting large quantities of dust to southern Europe over March 24-25, 2001. This image obtained on March 26, 2001 shows that Greece is receiving some of the heaviest concentrations of that dust.
Source: Provided by the SeaWiFS Project, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, and ORBIMAGE

Greek Wildfires from SeaWiFS

Hot, dry weather has contributed to a string of fires that burned in Greece during the first two weeks of July 2000. Smoke from one of these fires is streaming across Greece and out into the Aegean Sea in this image taken July 13, 2000, by the Sea-viewing Wide Field of view Sensor (SeaWiFS).
Source: Provided by the SeaWiFS Project, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, and ORBIMAGE

Smoke from Fires in Greece Seen by SeaWiFS

Smoke from the fires in Greece can be seen drifting across the eastern Mediterranean in this SeaWiFS image.
Source: Provided by the SeaWiFS Project, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, and ORBIMAGE

Santorini Volcano, Greece

This image of Santorini Volcano in the Aegean Sea was taken by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER), flying aboard NASAs Terra spacecraft. The image was taken on November 21, 2000, and covers an area of 18 by 18 km. The eruption of Santorini in 1650 B.C. was one of the largest in the last 10,000 years. About 30 cubic kilometers of magma was erupted, forming a cloud of volcanic ash and rock (called a plinian column) 36 km high. The removal of such a large volume of magma from underneath the volcano caused it to collapse, producing a large crater (a caldera). Ash fell over a large area of the eastern Mediterranean. The eruption probably caused the end of the Minoan civilization on the island of Crete, and may be the source of the myth of Atlantis. The largest island is Thera, and the next smaller is Therasia. The Kameni Islands (in the center of the image) were formed after the caldera by the volcanos continuing eruptions. The most recent of these occurred in 1950.
Source: Image courtesy NASA/GSFC/MITI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team