29 Dec '14, 3pm

Marzuq Sand Sea, Libya #NASA

Marzuq Sand Sea, Libya #NASA

This photograph of the central Sahara Desert was taken from the International Space Station shortly after sunrise. The tan colors of the vast Marzuq Sand Sea in the foreground (300 kilometers or 190 miles across) contrast with the black lavas of the Tibesti Mountains near the horizon. This sand sea is one of the most recognizable features for orbiting astronauts, partly because they see it often through cloudless Saharan skies. Taken with a 17 mm lens, this view replicates closely what the human eye sees. This lens gives a strong three-dimensional sense because the Earth curves away visibly toward the horizon and the few clouds cast shadows toward the camera. The lens even captures the effect of different sun elevations: The eastern Sahara on the horizon is in full daylight, but the Sand Sea in the foreground is darker where Sun is just rising. Astronaut photograph ISS042-...

Full article: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=84970&s...

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