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Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Belo Horizonte, Brazil

19.8S 43.9W

December 22nd, 2010 Category: Snapshots

Brazil - December 21st, 2010

This image of eastern Brazil shows the cities of Rio de Janeiro, along the shores of Guanabara Bay below the image center, São Paulo, a large greyish-tan expanse at the bottom left, and Belo Horizonte, above the image center and appearing as a tan area amidst the surrounding green.

Belo Horizonte is located in the São Francisco Basin and is surrounded by mountains. While São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro have various hills, they are located on flatter coastal terrain.

Cities of Rio de Janeiro, Niteroi and Belo Horizonte, Brazil

22.9S 43.2W

July 9th, 2010 Category: Snapshots

Brazil - June 29th, 2010

Brazil - June 29th, 2010

Greenish sediments line the southeastern coastline of Brazil. The city of Rio de Janeiro sits along the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean and the Bay of Guanabara in the lower half of the image. While Rio de Janeiro is situated on the western side of the bay, the city of Niteroi is located on the shores of the eastern side.

Moving further inland, a third city can be seen in the upper left corner: Belo Horizonte. The city is located in the São Francisco Basin, is built on several hills, and is completely surrounded by mountains.

Huge Blackout in Brazil and Paraguay – November 11th, 2009

November 11th, 2009 Category: Image of the day, Rivers

Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay - November 10th, 2009

Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay - November 10th, 2009

A problem with the Itaipú hydroelectric power plant plunged Paraguay and large parts of central-western and south-eastern Brazil into darkness on Tuesday night, virtually paralyzing the two countries. Experts are debating whether or not lightning and heavy winds and rains from a large atmospheric disturbance were responsibile for the blackout.

Power was being restored to Brazilian cities early Wednesday, while it was restored to Paraguay about 20 minutes after the initial loss. The power failure knocked out electricity in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Brasília, Belo Horizonte and almost 800 other cities in 10 Brazilian states. It it also forced the shutdown of major airports in Rio and São Paulo, as well as the São Paulo metro system.

Itaipú, the world’s largest operational hydroelectric power plant, straddles the border between Brazil and Paraguay. Representatives of Itaipu Binacional claim that the blackout was not caused by a problem with the hydroelectic power plant itself, but by a fault in the system that transmits electricity.

Brazilian government officials, including the Minister of Mines and Energy, originally blamed the blackout on a lightening bolt and/or strong winds and rains from a large atmospheric disturbance hitting a 750 kilovolt electrical transmission line between Ivaiporã (in the state of Paraná) and Tijuco Preto (state of São Paulo).

However, the Brazilian National Meteorology Institute (INMET) stated that the sky was heavily cloudy and prone to lightening strikes only between 1:00PM and 4:00PM, during which time this image was taken, and had cleared well before the start of the blackout at 10:10PM. Here the storm is visible covering the Itaipú Dam near the triple border between Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina around 1:40PM on Tuesday.

The Paraná River, on which the dam is located, runs southward out from under the clouds, then east into the sediment-filled Rio de la Plata estuary. The cities of Buenos Aires and Montevideo can be seen on the shores nearby. Upon opening the full image, more of Brazil and Paraguay are visible to the north, above the clouds.

Fires in Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil – July 3rd, 2009

22.9S 43.2W

July 3rd, 2009 Category: Image of the day, Lakes

Brazil - July 2nd, 2009

Brazil - July 2nd, 2009

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro

Lago Feia and sediments

Lago Feia and sediments

The entire coastline of the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro is visible here. Areas of note include the city of Rio de Janeiro and sediments from the Paraíba do Sul River, which tinge an area of shoreline green and yellow.

In the close-ups of these areas, several fires are blazing: one north of Rio de Janeiro  and two north of Lago Feia, the large dark brown lake near the sediment-framed coastline.

To the north, above the coastal area surrounded by sediments, is the state of Espírito Santo. Inland, part of the state of Minas Gerais can be seen, including the city of Belo Horizonte (see final close-up).

Belo Horizonte

Belo Horizonte

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