This image from European satellite Sentinel-2A features Cairo, in Egypt on 13 August.

The capital of Egypt, Cairo is one of the largest cities in Africa. It has existed for over 1000 years on the same spot on the Nile River banks. Located in the northeastern part of the country, Cairo is the passage to the Nile River delta.The river is the cause of the strong contrasts in the image. It delivers the water to transform the desert into a lush garden, where produce such as tomatoes, potatoes, sugar cane, rice and even cotton are grown. The sharp borderline between green fields and the yellow–brown desert is clear. The area is greener on the west side where the flatter terrain is more easily irrigated.

The city of Cairo shows striking contrasts. Along the well-irrigated shoreline, the green reveals the thick vegetation, while the grey areas denote the dense city. The 6th of October City, on the left side of the image, is a new city in the desert. It hosts students from various countries, as well as from Egypt, who study at its private universities. Cairo’s various golf courses are also featured in this image, as well as the international airport, partly visible on the top right.

Copernicus Sentinel data (2015)/ESA