Australia is the smallest, and flattest, of all the continents. Its surface details are largely the result of erosion. Many rivers drain into the continent's harsh, arid interior, where they terminate in salt lakes that are dry for most of the year. Australia's coastal regions, however, are famous for astounding biodiversity, from the Great Barrier Reef in the northeast to Shark Bay in the west.
Earth as Art 2
Forty-five new scenes developed for their aesthetic beauty, rather than for scientific value. The artists of this collection come from three sensors aboard satellites orbiting the Earth - Landsat 7, ASTER, and MODIS.
Vivid colors belie the arid landscape of northern Chile where the Atacama Desert, one of the world's driest, meets the foothills of the Andes. Here salt pans and gorges choked with mineral-streaked sediments give way to white-capped volcanoes.
A vast alluvial fan blossoms across the desolate landscape between the Kunlun and Altun mountain ranges that form the southern border of the Taklimakan Desert in China’s XinJiang Province.
Africa, the second largest continent, is a mix of steamy rainforests, vast grasslands, and arid deserts. It has no long mountain ranges, but is home to the world's largest hot desert, the Sahara, and its longest river, the Nile. The featured area is the central South Atlantic coastal region of Namibia, including the cities of Walvis Bay and Windhoek.