Australia's Great Sandy Desert from Space

by | Oct 31, 2017

Flying hundreds of miles above Earth, astronauts aboard the International Space Station photographed Lake Hazlett and Lake Willis in Western Australia’s Great Sandy Desert. Hundreds of ephemeral salt lakes are peppered throughout the arid Australian Outback. When occasional floodwaters pour into the lakebeds and then evaporate, they leave salt mineral deposits and create bright, expansive layers that are readily visible from space, as seen in this image taken by the Expedition 52 crew on the station.

The reddish-brown linear sand dunes are slightly higher in elevation (5-10 feet; 1.5-3 meters) and align with the general east to west wind flow in the region. Approximately 20 miles (32 kilometers) south of the lakes lies Lake Mackay, the fourth largest salt lake in Australia.

Photo Credit: NASA


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