Space view of warm Sochi

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The 2014 Winter Olympics officially began with an extravagant opening ceremony in Sochi, Russia, today (Feb. 7), and even NASA has embraced the spirit of the games with striking new satellite views of Olympic sites from orbit.

An image of Soch taken using the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer instrument on NASA's Terra spacecraft on Jan. 14. /  NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team

An image of Soch taken using the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer instrument on NASA’s Terra spacecraft on Jan. 14. / NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team

The newly released photos of Sochi Winter Olympics venues from space were captured by a NASA instrument on the Earth-watching Terra satellite on Jan. 4. NASA unveiled the images on Thursday, with one photo revealing a view of Sochi Olympic Park Coastal Cluster, on the coast of the Black Sea, as it appears from orbit.

“The Olympic Park Coastal Cluster for indoor sports appears as a circular area on the shoreline in the bottom center of the image,” NASA officials wrote in an image description. “There’s a separate arena for curling, alongside multiple arenas for hockey and skating. The actual city of Sochi, which has a population of about 400,000, is not visible in the picture.”

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