GREEN
12/03/2013 05:27 pm ET

20 Amazing Photographs Of Earth, Taken From Space

In a (slightly) different take on the standard "Best of 2013" roundup, DigitalGlobe has released its collection of the top 20 satellite images from 2013.

The collection highlights our planet's natural disasters, natural wonders and current events from 2013, all from the lofty vantage point of commercial satellites in space.

At times the photos are disorienting; others are more grandiose. In one image, for instance, the Colorado River seems to inexplicably float above the surrounding desert. In Qatar, meanwhile, a massive man-made island anchors a harbor full of luxury yachts. And without a sense of scale, an hypnotic image of Oman's "green tide" could be mistaken for something produced by a scanning electron microscope -- not an algae bloom that's many miles wide.

All 20 images are currently live in a Facebook album where, until Dec. 16, readers are invited to vote for their favorites. After that date, DigitalGlobe will announce the top five images of 2013.

DigitalGlobe's top 20 images of 2013:

  • Galešnjak, Croatia
    This is a satellite image of Heart Island, Galesnjak, Croatia, collected on Feb. 16, 2013. (Photo DigitalGlobe via Getty Images)
  • Dunalley, Australia
    This is a satellite image of wildfires in Dunalley, Tasmania, Australia, collected on Jan. 6, 2013. (Photo DigitalGlobe via Getty Images)
  • Valencia, Spain
    This is a satellite image of The Palau de les Artes Reina Sofia and Gulliver Park, Valencia, Spain, collected on July 19, 2013. (Photo DigitalGlobe via Getty Images)
  • Arlit Uranium Mine, Niger
    This is a satellite image of the Arlit Uranium Mine, Arlit, Niger, collected on Feb. 13, 2013. (Photo DigitalGlobe via Getty Images)
  • Doha, Qatar
    This is a satellite image of The Pearl, Doha, Qatar, collected on March 4, 2013. (Photo DigitalGlobe via Getty Images)
  • Near the city of Sur, Oman
    This is a satellite image of Green Tide, Eastern Coast, Oman, collected on Feb. 13, 2013. (Photo DigitalGlobe via Getty Images)
  • Utah, USA
    This is a satellite image of The Colorado River, Utah, collected on April 22, 2013. (Photo DigitalGlobe via Getty Images)
  • Madang Province, Papua New Guinea
    This is a satellite image of Manam Volcano, Madang Province, Papua New Guinea, collected on March 22, 2013. (Photo DigitalGlobe via Getty Images)
  • Schooner Cays, Bahamas
    This is a satellite image of The Schooner Cays, Bahamas, collected on May 26, 2013. (Photo DigitalGlobe via Getty Images)
  • Namib Desert, Namibia
    This is a satellite image of The Namib Desert, Sossusvlei, Namibia, collected on May 13, 2013. (Photo DigitalGlobe via Getty Images)
  • Versailles, France
    This is a satellite image of The Palace of Versailles in France collected on Aug. 20, 2013. (Photo DigitalGlobe via Getty Images)
  • Gwadar Coast, Pakistan
    This is a satellite image of a newly created island after an earthquake, Gwadar, Pakistan, collected on Sept. 29, 2013. (Photo DigitalGlobe via Getty Images)
  • Naples, Italy
    This is a satellite image of Mount Vesuvius, best known for its eruption in AD 79 burying the city of Pompeii, in Naples, Italy. Collected on Feb. 19, 2013. (Photo DigitalGlobe via Getty Images)
  • Sochi, Russia
    This is a satellite image of the 2014 Winter Olympics mountain venues, Sochi, Russia, collected on March 17, 2013. (Photo DigitalGlobe via Getty Images)
  • Aleppo, Syria
    This is a satellite image of The Citadel, Aleppo, Syria, collected on May 26, 2013. (Photo DigitalGlobe via Getty Images)
  • Hong Kong, China
    This is a satellite image of a Giant Rubber Duck, Hong Kong, China, collected on May 9, 2013. (Photo DigitalGlobe via Getty Images)
  • Belfast, Northern Ireland
    This is a satellite image of Face Art, Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom, collected on Nov. 3, 2013. (Photo DigitalGlobe via Getty Images)
  • Australia, Great Barrier Reef
    This is a satellite image of The Great Barrier Reef, Australia, collected on April 22, 2013. (Photo DigitalGlobe via Getty Images)
  • Xian, China
    This is a satellite image of Shiyuan Park, Xian, China, collected on Sept. 24, 2013. (Photo DigitalGlobe via Getty Images)
  • Cuanza River, Angola
    This is a satellite image of the Cambambe Dam on the Cuanza River, Angola, collected on April 28, 2013. (Photo DigitalGlobe via Getty Images)

EARLIER ON HUFFPOST:

PHOTOS: Top Satellite Images Of 2012

CONVERSATIONS