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Holiday calendar: Hooray for Hollywood

In honor of this year's Golden Globe nominees, here's a picture of the landmark Hollywood sign in Los Angeles, as seen by the GeoEye 1 satellite from a height of 425 miles (684 kilometers).

The sign, which spells out the name of the cinema world's most famous locale in 45-foot-high (14-meter-high) letters, was originally created as an advertisement in 1923 and is now protected and promoted by the Hollywood Sign Trust.

Some folks used to say that China's Great Wall was the only human-made landmark visible from outer space, but even if that was ever true, the rise of high-resolution satellite imagery has made that claim as obsolete as the silent movies. Come to think of it, far more obsolete: After all, the film with the most Golden Globe nominations this year is a new-wave silent movie titled "The Artist."

This view of Tinseltown's trademark serves as today's offering from the Cosmic Log Space Advent Calendar, which features views of Earth from space every day from now until Christmas. Check back on Friday for the next visual treat, and catch up on these previous calendar entries:

Connect with the Cosmic Log community by "liking" the log's Facebook page, following @b0yle on Twitter and adding the Cosmic Log page to your Google+ presence. You can also check out "The Case for Pluto," my book about the controversial dwarf planet and the search for new worlds.