It has always been said that the only terrestrial structure that could be seen with the naked eye from space was the Great Wall of China. It is totally false. Making an effort you can see the Pyramids of Egypt, because they are in the middle of a large desert space.
Actually, what astronauts first see from a distance of hundreds of kilometers of altitude is a large white spot located in southeastern Spain. These are the plastic roofs of the more than 28,500 hectares of greenhouses that are installed in the Andalusian town of El Ejido, in Almería. Strawberries, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, watermelons or melons are grown under plastics.
The Spanish astronaut Pedro Duque has assured that these greenhouses are the only human work visible from space. According to Duque, they distinguish themselves so well because plastics reflect light, since they have a high albedo. He has also commented that to see structures such as the Pyramids of Egypt it is necessary to use a zoom and make a great visual effort.
Apart from human structures visible from space, Duke calls attention to some beautiful natural phenomena. This is the case of the northern and southern aurora, whose vision from the International Space Station is spectacular. However, their visual beauty is offset by the inconvenience they can cause, since radiation can cause equipment to fail.
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