From a bird, from a plane, from a … satellite?

Mount Fuji has been the subject of untold millions of photographs, but this view captured by DigitalGlobe’s WorldView-3 satellite is truly unique.

When the image was taken, WorldView-3 was in orbit 617 km above earth’s surface and 2,500 km southeast of the iconic Japanese mountain. The satellite’s telescope was pointed at the mountain almost at the earth’s limb — in fact, from the mountain, the satellite would have appeared to be only 1 degree above the horizon — and yet it was still able to capture an image with roughly 1.2 m resolution. The Hida Mountains that can be clearly seen in the background are more than 150 km northwest of Mount Fuji.

This image illustrates once again the power of WorldView-3’s high resolution sensor, namely the ability to collect high-resolution oblique imagery, in addition to producing the sharpest and most information-rich commercial imagery when looking down from overhead. It also demonstrates the DigitalGlobe constellation’s industry-leading revisit frequency — more on this in a future blog post.