Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features the vast Libyan Desert of Northern Africa. The windswept dunes and darker sandstone plateaus make up the Fezzan region of Libya.
According to NASA, the burnt reds and oranges of the desert and the dark-toned mountains and plateaus contrast sharply with the bright blues of the sea and horizon.
The scientists note that, if not for the Mediterranean Sea in the distance, the photo looks so otherworldly that it could be mistaken for Mars.
The Libyan Desert is the most arid part of the Sahara Desert, and is mostly uninhabited. The region is referred to as a Mars analogue, or an area of Earth that has features that are similar to the Red Planet.
The photo was captured on February 5, 2021 by an External High-Definition Camera (EHDC) on the International Space Station (ISS).
Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory