St Peter’s From Space

And they thought the Great Wall of China was the only human-made object that could be discerned from space. More images here.

Space Imaging’s IKONOS satellite collected this one-meter resolution satellite image on May 5, 2003. The image shows a portion of the Vatican City, an enclave of Rome, Italy that extends from the banks of the Tiber River to the Vatican Hills of western Rome. The wall near the Papal Audience Hall (lower middle) serves as an international boundary around this autonomous and world’s smallest state. Also seen (clockwise) in the image is the Apostolic Palace with the Papal apartments; St. Peter’s Basilica Square and central obelisk (center); Sistine Chapel, Courtyards of Belvedere and St. Damascus (upper middle); and two of the entrances to the Vatican City State (right)—the Arc of Charlemagne (known as the Arch of the Bells) and the Bronze Doors protected by the Swiss Guard. During religious processions or ceremonies, satellite imagery may be used as a base map on which other information can be overlaid to support security, facility management, and traffic and crowd management.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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4 Responses to St Peter’s From Space

  1. Mark Brender says:

    Just ot let you know that Space Imaging no longer exists. The company was purchased by GeoEye (Nasdaq” GEOY) in January 2006. So GeoEye flies the IKONOS satellite that took this shot. GeoEye plans to launch a more cabable earth-imaging satellite in spring 2007.


  2. Diana says:

    What is the half-star shaped area on the right side of the picture? And am I just imagining that a sword extending from Saint Peter’s is cutting through it?

  3. Todd says:

    Diana, not sure what it is. The Arc of Charlemagne divides the star-shapred area from Vatican City proper. Any experts from Rome want to weigh in?

  4. John Heavrin says:

    I believe it’s Castel Sant’Angelo.

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