The Pyramids of Giza have been fascinating archaeologists and history fans for centuries, and it’s probably not about to change. As a proof of this, last week, ESA published a photo of these magnificent monuments seen from the sky, or better say from the space. The image in question was captured with Proba-1.
Proba-1, launched in 2001, was the first in a series of low-cost micro-satellites, which have been launched by the European Space Agency to test its space technologies.
Proba-1 is compact and packs two high-end cameras
Extremely compact, Proba-1 has the shape of a single cube of 60 centimeters wide, with an aluminum structure and a total mass of only 94 pounds.
The payload is 25 kilograms and consists of several instruments, including the CHRIS camera, an 18-meter high-resolution camera, and the HRC camera, a 5-meter monochrome camera with spatial resolution.
Proba-1 has another interesting feature
The satellite embeds an autonomous management system and is therefore capable of performing maneuvers without the intervention of an operator.
Since it was put into orbit in 2001, Proba-1 has taken many pictures of our planet and some of our monuments. The satellite immortalized the Great Wall of China and it also allowed us to follow the evolution of the ash cloud spewed by Eyjafjallajökull in 2010.
A striking photo that did not go unnoticed
At the base, ESA was planning to use the satellite for a year before taking a well-deserved retirement but Proba-1 still works and will celebrate its seventeenth birthday at the end of the year.
Last week, ESA published the latest photo taken by Proba-1, a photo that immortalizes the Pyramids of Giza seen from space. In black and white, the photo shows the Great Pyramid of Cheops in the lower left, the Pyramid of Khafre in the center, and the Pyramid of Menkauro on the right of the Khafre’s one. By observing the image closely, it is also possible to see the three smaller pyramids next to Pyramid of Cheops and those next to the Pyramid of Menkauro.