Satellite view of Southern Africa
Stunning view of South Africa. The arid, rugged Great Karoo runs along the southern coast where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet. From an indigenous word meaning dry thirst land, the Great Karoo's mountains and plains are home to a rich variety of plants and animals, including some of South Africa's most endangered species. The tan folds of the Nuweveld Mountain Range separate the Great Karoo in the south from the Northern Karoo in the north.
The brown and orange landscape that surrounds South Africa's northwestern borders is the Kalahari Desert, a vast sand basin marked by dunes and dry savannah vegetation. The southern edge of the desert is defined by the Orange River, which also forms South Africa's northwestern border with Namibia. In center and east South Africa, the ragged northern border is formed by the Molopo/Limpopo River.
Within South Africa is the enclave, Lesotho. This tiny mountainous country covers an area of 30, 355 square kilometers, slightly smaller than the state of Maryland. Northeast of Lesotho is the smaller country, Swaziland, with an area of 17, 363 square kilometers. Along the top of the image, from left to right, are Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique
© Stocktrek Images
Satellite view of the Middle East
May 4, 2003 - Deserts stretch across the Middle East in shades of tan, pink, and orange, while green foothills, mountains, and plains mark their edges. Turkey blooms across the northern edge of the image, as does Iran to the northeast. The Tigris (upper) and Euphrates (lower) Rivers in Iraq bring a faint wash of green to its otherwise dry desert soil (right of the image center). On the southern edge, a bright swath of orange marks Saudi Arabia's Al Jawf desert, and a lonely, though large, spot of green near the Jordanian border in the west springs from the Wadi al Ghinah. Separated from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Israel by the Gulf of Suez and the Red Sea, Egypt marks the southwestern image edge. North of Egypt, the eastern edge of the Mediterranean laps at the shores of (from south to north) Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Cyprus, and Turkey
© Stocktrek Images
This true color mosaic of Jupiter was constructed from images taken by the narrow angle camera onboard the Cassini spacecraft on December 29, 2000, during its closest approach to the giant planet at a distance of approximately 10 million kilometers (6.2 million miles).
It is the most detailed global color portrait of Jupiter ever produced; the smallest visible features are approximately 60 kilometers (37 miles) across. The mosaic is composed of 27 images: nine images were required to cover the entire planet in a tic-tac-toe pattern, and each of those locations was imaged in red, green, and blue to provide true color. Although Cassini's camera can see more colors than humans can, Jupiter's colors in this new view look very close to the way the human eye would see them.
Everything visible on the planet is a cloud. The parallel reddish-brown and white bands, the white ovals, and the large Great Red Spot persist over many years despite the intense turbulence visible in the atmosphere. The most energetic features are the small, bright clouds to the left of the Great Red Spot and in similar locations in the northern half of the planet. These clouds grow and disappear over a few days and generate lightning. Streaks form as clouds are sheared apart by Jupiter's intense jet streams that run parallel to the colored bands. The prominent dark band in the northern half of the planet is the location of Jupiter's fastest jet stream, with eastward winds of 480 kilometers (300 miles) per hour. Jupiter's diameter is eleven times that of Earth, so the smallest storms on this mosaic are comparable in size to the largest hurricanes on Earth
© Stocktrek Images