Snow-Covered Desert

Snow-covered deserts are rare, but that's exactly what the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite observed as it passed over the Taklimakan Desert in western China on Jan. 2, 2013. Snow has covered much of the desert since a storm blew through the area on Dec. 26. The day after the storm, Chinese Central Television (CNTV) reported that the Xinjian Uygyr autonomous region was one of the areas hardest hit. The Taklimakan is one of the world's largest-and hottest-sandy deserts. Water flowing into the Tarim Basin has no outlet, so over the years, sediments have steadily accumulated. In parts of the desert, sand can pile up to 300 meters (roughly 1,000 feet) high. The mountains that enclose the sea of sand-the Tien Shan in the north and the Kunlun Shan in the south-were also covered with what appeared to be a significantly thicker layer of snow in January 2013. Image Credit: NASA/Aqua

Click here to visit Original posting

LADEE Project Manager Update



Engineers at NASA’s Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., recently attached all of the solar panels to NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) observatory, and prepared to transport the observatory to the National Technical Systems mechanical testing facility in Santa Clarita, Calif.

Click here to visit Original posting

Erupting Fissure at Tolbachik

After more than a month of eruption, lava continues to flow from Tolbachik, one of many active volcanoes on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula. The current eruption at Tolbachik began on Nov. 27, 2012. Lava flowed up to 20 kilometers (12 miles) from a line of fissures on the volcano’s southern flank. Since then, some of the lava has cooled enough to allow snow to accumulate. Snow-covered lava flows appear gray in this natural-color satellite image. Fresher lava appears black. A faint orange glow at the head of the northern flow marks the location of an erupting fissure. The image was collected on Dec. 22, 2012, by the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on the Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) Satellite. According to the Kamchatka Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT) the eruption continued through Dec. 30, 2012. ›See image with detailed labels. Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory

Click here to visit Original posting