Seeing the Oregon Coast from Space and Vice Versa

Published 12/26/2013


(Oregon Coast) – It doesn't take a lot of time on the Oregon coast to become slack-jawed with a sense of awe. Those engaging sights and sites captivate in no time.

Sometimes, however, even more spectacular is taking in the entire universe from these especially scenic shores. And other times, as in the photo above, you may catch a glimpse of this area from space.

Thanks to the International Space Station and a new imaging system called HICO – for Hyperspectral Imager for the Coastal Ocean – we are seeing lots of new ocean and near-shore environments from orbit. Above is the image of the Columbia River from orbit, including Astoria and the southwest Washington coast.

If only you could see Seaside or Cannon Beach here as well.

Above, this is also courtesy NOAA and the International Space Station: you're looking at the central coast resort town of Newport and its Yaquina Bay – how astronauts would see it.


Did someone ask for an aerial shot of Cannon Beach? Oh wait a minute, it turns out we have one. It isn't from space, but here you can see the intricate shapes and designs of the shoreline around Ecola State Park.


Then there are the images of space from the coast. Here, above Cannon Beach, you are contemplating the stars that race over your head.


At the southern end of town, past the Tolovana area, this is the Milky Way floating softly over the homes and vacation rentals of this rather secretive part of town.

Another excellent spot for viewing the rest of the galaxy is just south of Cannon Beach at Neahkahnie Mountain, overlooking Manzanita. On a cloudless night, extraordinary things happen. Shooting stars bounce around this part of the sky with startling regularity, visible more often thanks to very little light interference. Fishing boats in the deep distance cause some beautiful effects as well.

Down on the central Oregon coast, heading up to the top of Cape Foulweather – near Depoe Bay and Newport – yields some mind-bending glimpses of the universe. The stars can be so thick here you can almost see the dark matter between them, You can almost sense the mysterious dark energy and its effects on tugging things around in the universe. It's not hard to imagine seeing the outward movement of the rest of the galaxies.

More nighttime visions of all sorts of towns along the coast are available at the various virtual tours. See Oregon Coast Beach Connection for the virtual tours or do a search for any city at night.


 

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