Earth from Space: Finistère, France

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
April 4, 2020
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Earth from Space: Finistère, France
Earth from Space: Finistère, France.

The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over Finistère – a French department in the west of Brittany.
Brittany is an important cultural region in the northwest of France. Previously a kingdom, then a duchy, Brittany was united with France in 1532. Today, Brittany is divided into four departments: Ille-et-Vilaine in the east, Morbihan in the south, Côtes d’Armor in the north and Finistère in the west. Brittany has over 1000 km of coastline – with a wide range of beaches and rocky, coastal scenery making it a popular holiday destination.

Fields blanket the French countryside and dominate this image captured on 27 September 2018. Brittany is one of France’s leading vegetable growing regions known for its artichokes, cauliflowers, carrots and potatoes. In fact, France is one of the EU’s leading agricultural countries and is home to around a third of all agricultural land in the EU.

The city of Brest can be seen in the left of the image, lying along the sheltered bay close to the western tip of the peninsula. With a population of around 150 000, Brest is the largest city in the Finistère department. The port town played an important role in French history as it was a key naval base during World War II.

Just west of Brest lies Pointe de Corsen, otherwise known as the westernmost point of continental France. The name Finistère derives from the Latin ‘Finis Terræ’ – meaning ‘end of the earth’.

Ushant, or Ouessant in French, and the Iroise Islands lie around 30 km from the coast of France and can be seen in the left of the image.

The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission is designed to provide images that can be used to distinguish between different crop types as well as data on numerous plant indices, such as leaf area, leaf chlorophyll and leaf water – all essential to monitor plant growth accurately.

This image is also featured on the Earth from Space video programme.

Download the full high-resolution image.

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