Studying a snowy landscape

This image of the winter landscape of Central Asia was taken by an astronaut aboard the International Space Station. Where surfaces are covered with snow, textures are more useful than colors for interpreting landscapes from orbit.

The featureless area in the upper left is the smooth water surface of Bosideng Lake, a large lake in northwest China. A slightly curved sand spit provides an indication that the boring is a lake. Spits like these are common features near lake shores and are produced by waves and tides Longshore currents.

Contrasting the smooth surface of the lake is the complex pattern of a dune field on its southern side. This structure indicates the convergence of the Parson Hills. These crescent-shaped sand dunes form where the wind blows in one direction on level terrain. The darker surfaces near and between some of the hills are wet, salty soils where the snow has partially melted.

Sediment fans Mountain landscape (lower right) and lake visible between. The water that flows out of the higher terrain flows into numerous streams once it reaches the flat surface. Agricultural fields appear as rectangular shapes in the center and lower left of the image.

The broad structure of Bosideng Lake is captured as it tilts to the east Astronaut movie In 2018, the lake is faintly visible in the center of the photo above the snowy mountains.

Astronaut photo ISS070-E-80513 Purchased on January 25, 2024 with a Nikon D5 digital camera using a 400mm focal length. It is provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observation Facility and the Earth Sciences and Remote Sensing Unit, Johnson Space Center. The picture was taken by a member Expedition 70 crew. The image was cropped and enhanced to improve contrast, and lens artifacts were removed. The International Space Station Project in part supports the laboratory ISS National Laboratory Helping astronauts take pictures of Earth would be of great value to scientists and the public, and to make those pictures freely available on the Internet. Additional images taken by astronauts and astronauts can be viewed at NASA/JSC Gateway to Earth Astronaut Photography. Caption by Justin Wilkinson, Texas State University, JETS Contract at NASA-JSC.

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