Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features a heart-shaped oasis on the Nile River in Egypt just south of Cairo. The photograph was captured by an astronaut on the International Space Station (ISS).
The depression, which is known as the Faiyum Oasis, was formed from the ancient lakebed of Lake Moeris. It spreads across more than 450 square miles.
The Faiyum Oasis is filled with orchards and farms that line the banks of the Nile River. According to NASA, the numerous small gray patches are villages and towns in the intensively cultivated agricultural areas.
The region has provided critical resources to people for more than 8,000 years. The oasis also supports many bird and fish species, as well as the endangered slender horned gazelle.
Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory
By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer