A few years ago, while at the NASA EARTH OBSERVATORY working on a story about wildfires, NASA Photographer ADAM VOILAND noted;
"a V appeared to me in a satellite image of a smoke plume over Canada. That image made me wonder: could I track down all 26 letters of the English alphabet using only NASA satellite imagery and astronaut photography?"
With the help of readers and colleagues, he started to collect images of ephemeral features like clouds, phytoplankton blooms, and dust clouds that formed shapes reminiscent of letters. Some letters, like O and C, were easy to find. Others—A, B, and R—were maddeningly difficult. Note that the A below is cursive.
When VOILAND finally tracked down all the letters and it was time write captions, he happened to be a new dad and deep into a Dr. Seuss reading phase with his son. The Seuss-inspired ABC gallery below is the result. To add some education to the fun, he added hyperlinks (highlighted in blue) to help you find out more about specific places, names, and features.