The most captivating aerial photos taken of Earth from the sky this year

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aerial earth REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

From the on-the-ground perspective, Earth is pretty stunning .

But that view is limited.

Take to the skies and you can see the world in entirely new ways.

These are some of the most stunning aerial photos that Reuters photographers took of life on Earth over the past year.

Cities peek through clouds of smog, forests smolder as they burn, and rivers flow through the Australian outback.

Check out some of the most amazing perspectives of Earth from above captured in 2017.

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A rainbow of bicycles sits at a parking lot in Shanghai, China.

A rainbow of bicycles sits at a parking lot in Shanghai, China.

Agents of the Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources burn forest to combat illegal logging in the state of Amazonas, Brazil.

Agents of the Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources burn forest to combat illegal logging in the state of Amazonas, Brazil.

A machine tries to clear a road across the Sognefjellet mountain in Krossbu, Norway.

A machine tries to clear a road across the Sognefjellet mountain in Krossbu, Norway.

Residents and tourists go for a swim at Barra da Tijuca beach during a summer day in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Residents and tourists go for a swim at Barra da Tijuca beach during a summer day in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

An aerial shot of an ice carousel on a frozen lake in Vanhankaupunginlahti, Helsinki.

An aerial shot of an ice carousel on a frozen lake in Vanhankaupunginlahti, Helsinki.

Smog obscures the city of Tianjin, China.

Smog obscures the city of Tianjin, China.

Nearly 2,000 people float in a line in Lake Epecuen, Argentina, setting a new Guinness world record for the most people floating while holding hands.

Nearly 2,000 people float in a line in Lake Epecuen, Argentina, setting a new Guinness world record for the most people floating while holding hands.

Polluted water in the Ganges river in Kanpur, India.

Polluted water in the Ganges river in Kanpur, India.

Black Rock City, a gathering of approximately 70,000 people that is created annually for Burning Man arts and music festival in Nevada.

Black Rock City, a gathering of approximately 70,000 people that is created annually for Burning Man arts and music festival in Nevada.

Hurricane Irma wrecked this trailer park in the Florida Keys.

Hurricane Irma wrecked this trailer park in the Florida Keys.

A sunken boat is spotted after Hurricane Irma hit the Florida Keys.

A sunken boat is spotted after Hurricane Irma hit the Florida Keys.

Buildings and construction sites peek through the fog in Rizhao, Shandong province, China.

Buildings and construction sites peek through the fog in Rizhao, Shandong province, China.

Single-handed dinghy boats gather around the motorboat of a coach during a training session for young yachtsmen in the Yenisei River in Krasnoyarsk, Russia.

Single-handed dinghy boats gather around the motorboat of a coach during a training session for young yachtsmen in the Yenisei River in Krasnoyarsk, Russia.

Cherry blossoms along a road in Gui'an new district, Guizhou province, China.

Cherry blossoms along a road in Gui'an new district, Guizhou province, China.

River systems flow near sand dunes in the outback of Queensland, Australia.

River systems flow near sand dunes in the outback of Queensland, Australia.

Italian Carabinieri officers ride their horses during a parade before the Palio of Siena horse race in Italy.

Italian Carabinieri officers ride their horses during a parade before the Palio of Siena horse race in Italy.
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