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Spilled Paint or Iranian Desert?

The Dasht-e Kavir, a k a Kavir-e Namak or the Great Salt Desert, in Iran isn't so big—it's only the 23rd largest—and as you would expect in a desert, it can get very hot, up to 122 degrees Fahrenheit, and sees almost no rain. But in this Landsat 7 image, from the USGS Earth as Art 3 collection, all...





The Dasht-e Kavir, a k a Kavir-e Namak or the Great Salt Desert, in Iran isn't so big—it's only the 23rd largest—and as you would expect in a desert, it can get very hot, up to 122 degrees Fahrenheit, and sees almost no rain. But in this Landsat 7 image, from the USGS Earth as Art 3 collection, all thoughts of barren wasteland are replaced by admiration for the beauty of our planet. USGS describes the image as follows:

Like poster paints run wild, this image reveals an eclectic montage of landscapes in Iran's largest desert, the Dasht-e Kavir, or Great Salt Desert. The word kavir is Persian for salt marsh. The almost uninhabited region covers an area of more than 77,000 square kilometers (29,730 square miles) and is a mix of dry streambeds, desert plateaus, mudflats, and salt marshes. Extreme heat, dramatic daily temperature swings, and violent storms are the norm in this inhospitable place.


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About Sarah Zielinski
Sarah Zielinski

Sarah Zielinski is an award-winning science writer and editor. She is a contributing writer in science for Smithsonian.com and blogs at Wild Things, which appears on Science News.

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