Leticia and Tabatinga, towns at the meeting of three countries in the Amazon – to see if you can see differences between the countries
Nicolás, who is half-Colombian, asked for a photograph of “where Brazil, Colombia and Peru meet. This border is in the Amazon jungle, so what I would likely find out is which of the countries take better care of the jungle and also which of the cities Leticia and Tabatinga takes better care of it.” He explained that he wants to know if the area “is well preserved. I want to know that because I really like the wildlife there, and I would like to see if the animals actually live well.”
We thought this was a really interesting idea, although it would be very difficult for astronauts to photograph because there is always lots of cloud over the rainforest and, even if the sky above the area itself was clear, clouds in the surrounding areas would make it difficult for the crew to identify their target since they are flying over it at 5 miles per second.
There were clear skies above the border when the Landsat 8 satellite flew over on 2 May this year, so we have used data from the Operational Land Imager (OLI) instrument on it to create a picture for Nicolás. Most of the top part of the image is Colombia, part of Peru is on the left, between the two rivers that flow across the picture, and the bottom half of the image is Brazil.