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Winter Olympics site looks just as chilly in NASA space view

Check out NASA and the ESA's scenic views of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics sites in South Korea as seen by satellites.

This view combines topographic data with a satellite view of Gangneung (in the foreground) and Pyeongchang.

NASA/Joshua Stevens/USGS/SRTM

The television coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics in the Pyeongchang county of South Korea puts us right up close to the action. You can almost feel the cold spray of displaced snow as mogul skiers charge down the slope. The view from NASA's Landsat 8 satellite is quite different.

NASA's Earth Observatory posted images this week of Pyeongchang that were captured in late January, not long before the Games opened on Friday. They show why this mountainous part of South Korea is a perfect fit for the exploits of winter athletes. 

Snow-capped ranges stand out against dark green vegetation. This is where outdoor events like skiing and snowboarding take place. The images also highlight the coastal city of Gangneung, the nearby location hosting indoor events like hockey, curling and skating.   

The angled view combines topographic data with the satellite's viewpoint to give a fun perspective on the Olympics sites. Gangneug sits in the foreground with the mountains of Pyeongchang behind. 

The European Space Agency released a guided video tour on Friday of Pyeongchang as seen by its Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellite. The animation covers everything from the Olympic Stadium to the luge venue:

We'll get plenty of close-up Olympics action in the days to come, but it's nice to step back and enjoy a view that puts the size of this global event into a seen-from-space perspective.