Earth Matters

October Puzzler

October 20th, 2014 by Kathryn Hansen


Every month on Earth Matters, we offer a puzzling satellite image. The October 2014 puzzler is above. Your challenge is to use the comments section to tell us what part of the world we are looking at, when the image was acquired, what the image shows, and why the scene is interesting.

How to answer. Your answer can be a few words or several paragraphs. (Try to keep it shorter than 200 words). You might simply tell us what part of the world an image shows. Or you can dig deeper and explain what satellite and instrument produced the image, what spectral bands were used to create it, or what is compelling about some obscure speck in the far corner of an image. If you think something is interesting or noteworthy, tell us about it.

The prize. We can’t offer prize money, but, we can promise you credit and glory (well, maybe just credit). Roughly one week after a puzzler image appears on this blog, we will post an annotated and captioned version as our Image of the Day. In the credits, we’ll acknowledge the person who was first to correctly ID the image. We’ll also recognize people who offer the most interesting tidbits of information about the geological, meteorological, or human processes that have played a role in molding the landscape. Please include your preferred name or alias with your comment. If you work for or attend an institution that you want us to recognize, please mention that as well.

Recent winners. If you’ve won the puzzler in the last few months or work in geospatial imaging, please sit on your hands for at least a  day to give others a chance to play.

Releasing Comments. Savvy readers have solved some of our puzzlers after only a few minutes or hours. To give more people a chance to play, we may wait between 24-48 hours before posting the answers we receive in the comment thread.

Good luck!

60 Responses to “October Puzzler”

  1. Mimid Adli says:


  2. Deanne Howard says:

    Kansas City, Missouri USA

  3. France Chalifour says:

    Not sure, but could it be Indianapolis?

  4. Paula says:

    London uk?

  5. Mimid Adli says:

    Kansas City

  6. Derek Stanley says:

    Kansas City Down Town Airport in Missouri.

  7. Rose Smith says:

    Kansas City

  8. Shivaprasad says:

    Kansas city.Missouri

  9. Shivaprasad says:

    Kansas ,Missouri

  10. James Titmas says:

    Kansas City – not many cities are a rail hub with a downtown airport.

  11. Luke says:

    The image is of Kansas City area. Most notably the Missouri River and the Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport.

  12. Jake says:

    Kansas City, Missouri – Go Royals!

  13. Phillip Lamb says:

    Kansas City, Mo and NW is Kansas City, KS
    Kansas City Downtown Charles Wheeler airport, and the remnants of the old Fairfax Airport runways in the upper right corner.

  14. Jane says:


  15. Ellie de Klerk says:

    The city of Portland. OR

  16. hai On says:

    Kansas city, MO ,missouri river Charles B wheeler airport. I searched using” airport by a river.”

  17. Gaye Hattem says:

    It’s Kansas City, MO, Kansas City, KS and North Kansas City, MO, specifically at the intersection of Missouri River with the Kansas River. You can even see the runway at the downtown airport and train yard along the Missouri River just north of downtown.

  18. hai On says:

    Kansas City, Missouri, USA. Missouri River and Charles B Wheeler Airport. The image was acquired afternoon, say 2pm in the summer time. the shadow on the bridge 9 shows the sun is still high but west of midday. The image is rotate about 45 from north.

  19. @AmazingMilan says:

    It’s Kansas City!

  20. Steph Orstad says:

    I don’t know.

  21. David M. says:

    The image shows the Missouri River snaking between Kansas City, MO and Kansas City, KS and the narrower Kansas River spilling into the Missouri from the left. North is towards the upper right corner of the image.

    The wide highway spanning the mouth of the Kansas River is I-70. The thin dark line to the right of I-70 crossing the river is the Lewis and Clark Viaduct.

    The Charles B. Wheeler Downtown airport is visible on the point bar of the Missouri River and is centered near 39.123056° N, 94.592778°W.

    The image appears to be a true color photography. The apparently high spatial resolution and viewing geometry of the image suggest that it was taken using a conventional handheld camera by an astronaut in orbit.

  22. Monkaha says:

    Kansas City, MO. GO ROYALS!

  23. Ryan Wilson says:

    I’m pretty sure that is the Kansas City Airport and surrounding area (portions of Kansas City, Kansas, USA and Kansas City, Missouri, USA, rotated about 45 degrees from North-top standard. The Sprint Center is there, so this is a fairly recent photo – within the last seven years. Perhaps the most interesting thing in this photo is that the two cities pictured appear to be a singular city (and they share the same name) even though they are not even in the same state.

  24. Patrick Brown says:

    Kansas City.

  25. Michael O'Flaherty says:


  26. Pam Rozgay says:

    Kansas City, Missouri – Part of Greater Kansas City. Missouri River, Kaw River w/ downtown airport and part of old Fairfax airport (Kansas).

  27. Bob Stobie says:

    Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport – Kansas City, MO

  28. Ginny Howard says:

    Kansas City, Kansas & Missouri (a river runs through them).

  29. Ginny Howard says:

    Kansas City, Kansas & Missouri (a river runs through them)

  30. Joseph Claus says:

    Pittsburgh, PA

  31. Tarequl alal says:

    this is the satelite image of Kansas city. The answer is kansas city.

  32. Tarequl alal says:

    Kansas city.

  33. Dr. Zero says:

    Kansas City. MO

  34. David Feng says:

    Looks like downtown Shanghai, but I checked, it’s not…

  35. Brittney Kozor says:


  36. DJ Bailey says:

    It looks like Kansas City, Mo; Kansas KS and North Kansas City Mo … the Kaw River flowing into the Mo River. the old manically airport in the bend of the Mo river. major RR yard North of the MO river

  37. Richard Robinson says:

    I think it’s New York city with Brooklyn to the right i went there for the first time in August this year.

  38. Fred Niell says:

    PIttsburg, PA. Summer.

  39. Camille Gard says:

    Pittsburgh Pa 3 rivers Allegheny, monogahlla, ?

  40. Mary Mathews says:

    The city in the image is Kansas City, home of the Kansas City Royals and the town where the first two games of the World Series will be played. There is the confluence of rivers, where the smaller Kansas River, called the “Kaw” flows into the Missouri. The old downtown airport can be seen in the bow of the Missouri.

  41. joe Vaughan says:

    It’s downtown Kansas city mo.

  42. Bob Speith says:


  43. Karen Buhler says:

    Pittsburgh, PA

  44. m manthei says:

    kansas city

  45. Daniel Hogan says:

    The image is downtown Kansas city Missouri and Kansas with north oriented to the right. the old Fairfax airport is on top which has a general motors plant squarely in the center and the downtown Kansas city Missouri airport to across the river below it.

    great picture, go Kansas City Royals in the World Series, thanks NASA!

  46. Scott Bass says:

    Kansas City, Missouri.
    The city is part of both Kansas and Missouri – situated at the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri rivers.

  47. Scott Bass says:

    Kansas City, Missouri.
    The city is situated at the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers and the border of two states of the same name (Kansas and Missouri).

  48. Lynne Beatty says:

    Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas! You can see the smaller Kansas River,
    (Known regionally as the Kaw) joining the Missouri. This is Kaw Point
    and is one of several significant sites related to the Lewis and Clark
    Expedition. And as I write this, the first game of the World Series is
    being played with the home team Royals behind by a few runs
    In just the first inning; which is why I’m on twitter!

  49. Janea C says:

    Kansas City, mo

  50. Marion says:

    It is the Kansas and Missouri river in Kansas City (Missouri)

  51. Kurt P says:

    looks like downtown Kansas City KS/MO.

  52. Guillermo Silva says:

    I think it is Paris

  53. reda says:

    انها مدينه كانساس – والتقاء أنهار الجنه كانساس وميسوري وهم يحتضنون المدينه بمطارها وشوارعها ومصانعها وسكانها والصوره تظهر ان الطبيعه أقوى من أعمال البشر على مر السنوات حيث يظهر مجرى النهر مسيطر على المشهد مهما كانت ضخامه العماره

  54. Michelle Flack says:

    Pittsburgh – love it!

  55. John Cheek says:


  56. Drew Caracciolo says:


  57. edgar says:

    Kansas City, confluencia del río Missour y el río Kansas.

  58. m.m. royar says:

    Kensas city, kensas.

  59. Carlos Sanabria says:

    I do not know the location. What is interesting is that it shows two or more branches of a river that seems to be inside a braided flood plane. I shows highly engineered channel controls to allow for urban and industrial development. Many of the roads and railroads in the area seem to be aligned with channels carved by the river during floods before the development of the area. The infrastructure is highly developed. It could be located in a highly developed area in the third world, but I would bet it is located somewhere in the first world, and Kansas City would make sense. Finally, I would not buy property in this flood plane if I had to hold down to it for more than a couple of decades. If I did, I would procure full flood insurance coverage for all possible flood related losses. We engineer these things to a point, in the end nature always wins.

  60. Andrzej Szuksztul says:

    Kansas City – Kansas River joining Missouri, with Wheeler Downtown Airport inside the river bend.
    North is to the right-up of the picture. Area covered is roughly 20×8 kms