The dormant volcano known as Mount Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest mountain, at 5,895 meters. It is also the tallest free-standing mountain in the world, rising about 4,900 meters above its surrounding plain.
Located close to the equator at 3°S, only its summit is covered with snow and ice. The ascent towards the top is a journey through most of the world’s climate zones, from the tropical to the Arctic. On the way, the landscape shifts from tropical rain forest to moorland, alpine heather to desert and, finally, snow and ice.
This 100 meter-resolution false-color image from Proba-V’s main Vegetation camera on June 14, 2015, shows Kilimanjaro enveloped by clouds to the south and north. The gradual decrease of vegetation with altitude can be seen by the colors changing from green to brown and finally light blue, representing the summit’s glacier.
Launched on May 7, 2013, Proba-V is a miniaturized ESA satellite tasked with a full-scale mission: to map land cover and vegetation growth across the entire planet every two days.
Its main camera’s continent-spanning 2250-kilometer swath width collects light in the blue, red, near-infrared and mid-infrared wavebands at 300 meter resolution and down to 100 meter resolution in its central field of view.
VITO, the Flemish institute for technological research, processes and then distributes Proba-V data to users. VITO has produced an online gallery highlighting some of the mission’s most striking images so far, including views of storms, fires and deforestation.