Two continents meet along the Mediterranean coastline •

Two continents meet along the Mediterranean coastline

Two continents meet along the Mediterranean coastline Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features the intersection of two continents captured from the International Space Station (ISS) through a fisheye lens.

Astronaut Andrew Morgan shot this wide-angle photograph of the Mediterranean coastline, which includes the Nile Delta in Africa, the Sinai Peninsula, and the Levant in southwest Asia.

The Nile Delta is one of the largest river deltas in the world and is characterized by rich, agricultural land that contrasts with the surrounding desert. The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western and Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant. The Sea has played a central role in the history of Western civilization. Although the Mediterranean is sometimes considered a part of the Atlantic Ocean, it is usually referred to as a separate body of water. Geological evidence indicates that around 5.9 million years ago, the Mediterranean was cut off from the Atlantic and was partly or completely desiccated over a period of some 600,000 years during the Messinian salinity crisis before being refilled by the Zanclean flood about 5.3 million years ago.

According to NASA, the Nile Delta has been the center of agriculture in the region for thousands of years. 

The Levant region consists of present-day Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, and Palestine. Overall, the Mediterranean coastline includes 21 countries with a cumulative length of about 29,000 miles.

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory 

By Chrissy Sexton, Staff Writer

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