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Corsica Island
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Corsica Island

March 16, 2013
This Envisat composite image shows the French island of Corsica, one of the largest islands in the Mediterranean Sea.

Corsica is located just 90 km west of Italy, and 170 km south of France. Sardinia is just to the south across the Strait of Bonifacio, and we can see a couple of Sardinian islands along the bottom of the image.

In the top right corner we can see the Italian island of Capraia.

Corsica was ruled by Genoa for hundreds of years. It was briefly independent in the mid-1700s before being conquered by the French in 1769. Today, French is the official language, but the local dialect is more closely related to Italian than French.

French emperor Napoléon Bonaparte was born on the island in the same year it was conquered by the French. Although his original name was Napoleone di Buonaparte, he later adopted a more French-sounding name.

Formed by volcanic activity, Corsica is the Mediterranean Sea’s most mountainous island. Monte Cinto, the highest peak, reaches over 2700 m.

A 180 km-long hiking trail crosses the island approximately north–south. The hike takes about 15 days to complete and has been called one of the best trails in the world.

Between the mountains and over 1000 km of coastline and hundreds of beaches, tourism plays a major role in the local economy.

This image was created by combining three Envisat radar acquisitions (3 January, 2 February and 2 April 2012) over the same area. The colors result from changes in the surface between acquisitions.

Contact with Envisat was lost just days after the third radar image in this composite was acquired.

Credits: ESA



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