The Air Mountains in the Saharan Desert Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features the Sahara Desert in northern Niger, where the Aïr Mountains rise sharply across the sand.
The mountain range has volcanic peaks and deep valleys, and the region supports a variety of wildlife and fauna that have not survived in other parts of the Sahara.
The formation of the Air Mountains dates back to the earliest of Earth’s eons – Precambrian times.
This image was captured by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on the Landsat 8 satellite on October 31, 2018.The Air Mountains in the Saharan Desert
The Sahara (/səˈhɑːrə/, /səˈhærə/; Arabic: الصحراء الكبرى, aṣ-ṣaḥrāʼ al-kubrá, ‘the Greatest Desert’) is a desert located on the African continent. It is the largest hot desert in the world, and the third largest desert overall after Antarctica and the Arctic. Its area of 9,200,000 square kilometres (3,600,000 sq mi) is comparable to the area of China or the United States. The name ‘Sahara’ is derived from a dialectal Arabic word for “desert”
The desert comprises much of North Africa, excluding the fertile region on the Mediterranean Sea coast, the Atlas Mountains of the Maghreb, and the Nile Valley in Egypt and Sudan. It stretches from the Red Sea in the east and the Mediterranean in the north to the Atlantic Ocean in the west, where the landscape gradually changes from desert to coastal plains. To the south, it is bounded by the Sahel, a belt of semi-arid tropical savanna around the Niger River valley and the Sudan Region of Sub-Saharan Africa. The Sahara can be divided into several regions including: the western Sahara, the central Ahaggar Mountains, the Tibesti Mountains, the Aïr Mountains, the Ténéré desert, and the Libyan Desert.
Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory