The Sayan Mountains in northern Mongolia • Earth.com

Last update: July 13th, 2020 at 8:00 pm

The Sayan Mountains in northern Mongolia. Today’s Image of the Day comes from the NASA Earth Observatory and features a look at the Sayan Mountains located in northern Mongolia.

While traders and adventure-seekers have crossed the mountains for the past several centuries, this area remains mostly uninhabited. In fact, the closest town is located 60 miles from the center of the image.

This image was captured by an astronaut on board the International Space Station.

At 1,564,116 square kilometres (603,909 sq mi), Mongolia is the 18th-largest and the most sparsely populated sovereign state in the world, with a population of over 3.3 million people. It is also the world’s second-largest landlocked country behind Kazakhstan and the largest landlocked country that does not border a closed sea. The country contains very little arable land, as much of its area is covered by grassy steppe, with mountains to the north and west and the Gobi Desert to the south. Ulaanbaatar, the capital and largest city, is home to about 45% of the country’s population. Ulaanbaatar also shares the rank of the world’s coldest capital city with Moscow, Ottawa, and Nur-Sultan.

Approximately 30% of the population is nomadic or semi-nomadic; horse culture is still integral. The majority of its population are Buddhists. The non-religious population is the second-largest group. Islam is the dominant religion among ethnic Kazakhs. The majority of the state’s citizens are of Mongol ethnicity, although Kazakhs, Tuvans, and other minorities also live in the country, especially in the west. Mongolia joined the World Trade Organization in 1997 and seeks to expand its participation in regional economic and trade group

By Rory Arnold, Earth.com Staff Writer

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory

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