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Surreal Futurescapes

Astana, Kazakhstan

Story by UrtheCast Gallery November 25th, 2016

The landmarks, palaces and gardens of Astana — Kazakhstan’s capital city — are surreal futurescapes that are indicative of Astana’s ambitions as a city.

Yes, Astana has grand plans. It only recently become the capital in 1997, but the city aims to reach a population of over one million by 2030.

This month, Astana played host to Space Days Kazakhstan, where UrtheCast presented on the future of Earth Observation and big data analysis. You can learn more, here.

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The Khan Shatyr, a massive climate-controlled structure, is shown to the left of the image below as a silvery circle, though it's composed of a transparent material. The microclimate within the structure shields visitors from the area's extreme temperatures, which can range from -35°C to +35°C.


Astana's Bayterek Tower, located at the bottom of the image below, is based on a mythical story of a "golden egg on top of the tree of life." The monument is meant to be symbolic of the city itself, and the word 'bayterek' directly translates to 'tall poplar'.

At night, the Singing Fountain located above the tower in this image puts on a wild water, light, and musical display, which you can watch, here.

This image crop highlights another great look at the city's intricate patterns, which are etched across its many sprawling landscapes.

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Imagery captured from UrtheCast's Deimos-1 satellite.

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Footnote: Imagery captured from UrtheCast’s Deimos-2 satellite.