The bright red soil of Australia •

The bright red soil of Australia Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features bright red soil that can be found in the center of Australia. As it is viewed from above, the region bears some resemblance to Mars

The photo highlights the red desert soil around Uluru and Kata-Tjuta, which are famous rock formations in the southern part of Northern Territory.

According to NASA, the presence of vegetation also influences the colors seen in the image. Areas with more vegetation appear darker and browner.

The brightest shades of red and orange most likely signify fires that have exposed the soil more clearly in recent years.

The natural-color image was captured by the HawkEye sensor on the SeaHawk CubeSat. Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world’s sixth-largest country. Australia’s population of nearly 26 million, in an area of 7,617,930 square kilometres (2,941,300 sq mi), is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Canberra is the nation’s capital, while the largest city is Sydney, and other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide. Indigenous Australians inhabited the continent for about 65,000 years, prior to the first arrival of Dutch explorers in the early 17th century, who named it New Holland. In 1770, Australia’s eastern half was claimed by Great Britain and initially settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788, a date which became Australia’s national day.

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory 

By Chrissy Sexton, Staff Writer

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