3rd Place: Meandering Mississippi Landsat 7 Acquired 5/28/2003, Small, blocky shapes of towns, fields, and pastures surround the graceful swirls and whorls of the Mississippi River, the largest river system in North America. Countless oxbow lakes and cutoffs accompany the meandering river south of Memphis, Tennessee, on the border between Arkansas and Mississippi. › Larger image Photo: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/USGS
I was pretty sure my favorite picture was the bird's eye view of the aqua swirls, oxbows, and whorls of the Mississippi River cutting into the square tan, forest, and brown patches of farmland south of Memphis, Tennessee. Then I saw the runs of flourescent green phytoplankton flowing like brush strokes around the island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea. Maybe this is the best picture, I wondered? A lot of other people thought so. The public voted it to be the most popular image taken from space via the Landsat series of observation satellites, but it's hard for me to pick a favorite.