Update 8.12.2014: The image was featured on ESA's 'Earth from Space' podcast, the 'Romanian mosaic' edition. The podcast is available here.
The Image of the Week issued today by the European Space Agency (ESA), entitled "Romanian Mosaic", is dedicated to Romania and is the result of 15 scans made by Sentinel-1A’s radar in October and November this year.
The scans were acquired in ‘dual polarisation’ horizontal and vertical radar pulses, from which the artificial colour composite was generated.
In the satellite image provided by ESA the Carpathian Mountains are visible sweeping down from the north and across the centre of the country, and the Danube – the longest river in the European Union – which crosses the country along the border with Serbia and Bulgaria, and flows into the Black Sea via the Danube Delta, which lies within Romania and Ukraine – visible on the right side of the image.
Finally, the Romanian capital, Bucharest, is visible in the south-eastern part of the country, as a cluster of bright radar reflections expanding outward from the centre.
ESA notes that Romania has the largest area of virgin forests in Europe and an impressive natural richness. These forests are home to brown bears, wolves and other animals, many thermal and mineral springs can be found in the foothills, and the rich variety of birds, fish, animals and plants in the Danube Delta should not be forgotten.
ESA also recalls that in September 2015 Bucharest will be hosting the annual Land Training Course dedicated to the next generations of scientists in the field of Earth Observation.
The family of Sentinel missions was developed by ESA in order to meet the operational needs of the Copernicus program, the second EU flagship space initiative after the Galileo positioning system. There are six Sentinel missions, and each of them is based on a constellation of two satellites, each weighing 2300 kg.
Sentinel 1 is a radar mission consisting of a constellation of two satellites, Sentinel 1-A and Sentinel 1-B, which will provide images of dry and ocean surfaces from Europe, Canada and polar regions in all weather conditions, day and night and almost in real time. Every six days the satellites will provide images of the entire Earth. The first satellite, Sentinel-1A was launched on a Soyuz rocket from Europe's spaceport on 3 April 2014.
In addition to transmitting data to ground stations worldwide for quick dissemination, Sentinel-1 is equipped with a laser terminal to transmit data through the European Data Relay System satellites located on geostationary orbits.
Data from Sentinel satellites will be provided openly and free of charge . The raw data will be analysed and processed by service providers from the public and private sectors. More details here.
The Romanian Space Agency (ROSA) organised various events for Copernicus services users and providers, such as the conferences 'Copernicus Services in the Sentinel Era — Benefits for Eastern Europe’. Also, in order to prepare for the air quality monitoring mission Sentinel-5 Precursor, planned for launch in 2016, scientists from eight European institutes met in Bucharest to test different systems to be used to validate the correctness of the data provided by this new satellite. Details here.
The ESA Image of the Week in hi-res format can be downloaded from here.