Michigan is so distinct on any map. Like the Great Pyramids of Giza, the Grand Canyon, and the Great Barrier Reef, it is easily seen from space, and is the only American inland state whose borders are easily identifiable.

As such, Michigan is quite the sight from space, whether it's from satellites or the International Space Station, and scientists have been capturing photos of since we've been going to higher levels of our atmosphere. So I've gathered some of the coolest ones I could find, and yeah... Michigan's pretty awesome.

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Michigan is completely surrounded by Four of the five Great Lakes, with the exception of its southern border. But there's no mistaking the mitten shape on satellite images, no matter what your orientation is in space. In fact, it can help you GET your bearings if you're turned around.

Take this image from the ISS...

At first, it's a little strange to see such large bodies of water, but in unrecognizable orientation. But once you identify the "thumb" of the mitten, then it's pretty easy to understand that the ISS is "flying" over Canada, looking to the southeast. Maybe a little more traditional view of the state, and much more orienting, this one was also taken from the ISS as it passed over the United States.

Snow and Ice

These next photos are a clear indicator of just how massive the snow cover and Lake Ice can be in and around Michigan.

Case and point, this one from a few years ago (pardon the caption), but it clearly shows the shores of Lake Michigan frozen with ice, and the winds sweeping cloud cover and snow showers across the rest of Michigan.

This next photo is even more distinct on how weather patterns tend to move across the state. Meteorologist Will Haenni of WWMT in west Michigan posted this satellite image from March of 2023, which clearly shows the snow cover from two different storms that dumps snow across parts of the Upper Peninsula, and Up north, then a second storm, that cut across southern Michigan.

It also shows another incoming storm building to the west of Lake Michigan.

And this one from another Meteorology team with WJRT, even better shows from satellites how a major snow storm cut across Wisconsin and the northern part of Michigan. It's also pretty amazing at how drastic that "line" between areas with, and without snow can be.

The Unique Features of Michigan

Aside from its Mitten shape, Michigan has plenty of other features that set it apart from space.

Case and point, this image from the International Space Station shows a unique angle of the northern side of the Upper Peninsula. Looking east/southeast, across Lake Superior, the Keweenaw Peninsula is VERY pronounced, jutting out into the lake.

Of course, Michigan has a number of cities that emit a LOT of light in the dark. This image may be a bit stretched, but you can clearly identify the major cities - Detroit, Lansing, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo & Battle Creek, etc. - AND, especially in Detroit, you can identify all of the major thoroughfares in and out of the city.

And finally, this one also released from WDI Local 4 News, again from the International Space Station, but zoomed in MUCH closer than all others. It shows the sheer size of the Mackinac Bridge. Knowing how bit it looks in person, zooming in to show how small it actually seems in comparison to the straits.

Of course, Michigan is a beautiful state, both close up, and far away. But seeing it from these perspectives is certainly a bit eye-opening. Pretty amazing place to live, huh?

Look at these Incredible Photos from Around Lake Michigan

Eric Hines is a part-time photographer, based out of Northwest Indiana, and specializes in landscape photography from all around Lake Michigan, including some incredible shots from across the Lake, showing Chicago's Skyline.

Gallery Credit: Eric Hines Photography

Photos Taken behind Tahquamenon Falls

One thing many visitors to Tahquamenon Falls cannot say they’ve done is had the chance to go behind the falls and witness what it is like behind this rushing current of beauty. I recently came across photos taken by a gentleman named Dave steward, who actually had the chance to go behind the falls

Gallery Credit: Dave Steward (Used w/ Permission)