Solving Space: Earth From Space – Madagascar

On April 22, 1970, the world marked the first Earth Day. To celebrate, we’re sharing amazing images of Earth from space! Solve Space by unscrambling this image of Bombetoka Bay to see the numerous islands and sandbars in the estuary where the freshwater of the Betsiboka River meets the salty waters of the Mozambique Channel on the northwestern coast of Madagascar. Then learn all about how you can celebrate Earth Day at Space Center Houston!

Learn More About It

  • This image is from the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA’s Terra satellite.
  • The image shows the estuary at Bombetoka Bay just upstream of where it opens up into the Mozambique Channel, which separates Madagascar from Africa to the west.
  • Estuaries are among the most biologically productive ecosystems on Earth.
  • The Betsiboka River feeds Bombetoka Bay, which is a frequent subject of astronaut photography due to its striking red floodplain sediments.
  • Mangroves are a common plant species found in and around Madagascar estuaries, and Bombetoka Bay contains some of the largest remaining stands.
  • Estuaries host abundant fish and shellfish species, many of which need freshwater for a portion of their life cycles. These support local and migratory bird species that prey on them.
  • Human activities such as urban development, overfishing, and increased sediment loading from erosion of upriver highlands threaten the ecosystem health of the estuaries.


Experience More

Join us at our Planet Earth Celebration April 22-25, where you can: 

  • Experience NASA’s sustainability efforts — from flora to fauna and even rockets! — on the Wildlife Refuge Tram Tour. Learn more about sustainable and reusable rockets at our Pop-up Science Talks, then put it into action at our Pop-up Science Labs!
  • Visit Community Educational Booths and learn about our wetlands and coastline, as well as recycling. Discover live information about our atmosphere at the daily Atmospheric Balloon Launch.
  • Take a fun break and play games such as Cornhole, Jenga, Connect 4, or watch a special film.
  • Best of all, learn about our recycling and energy-saving initiatives, plus what today’s inventors are creating for tomorrow at the Innovation Gateway Challenge!

Get your tickets now!

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