Thursday, 21 April 2011

‘Black hole’ on Earth in photo by Korean satellite


A Korean satellite has caught an eye-catching view of an island in Mexico for a deep, rocky hole and waters so dark that they earned it the name Holbox―a name that means “black hole.”

The photo was taken by the Korea Multi-purpose Satellite 2, or Kompsat-2, and show Holbox Island and its Yalahou lagoon at the northeast corner of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. The photo was revealed in the science website,, on April 15.

Holbox Island is 42km strip of land separated from the mainland by the lagoon.

“The freshwater lagoon has a deep rocky hole that surrounds the island, making the water appear black,” explained an official with the European Space Agency (ESA), the partner in the Kompsat-2 mission.

The Kompsat-2 satellite has been snapping photos of Earth from orbit since it launched into space in 2006. It was built for the Korea Aerospace Research Institute to provide uninterrupted Earth observation coverage.

ESA serves as a third-party in the mission and uses ground-based infrastructure to receive, process and distribute the images from Kompsat-2.

Meanwhile, the waters 12 kilometers long and 1.5 kilometers wide is a huge treasure trove of marine life. Hundreds of species of whales and turtles inhabit the sea, with a large herd of whale sharks, the largest in the world, staying for five months a year.


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