Wind-shaped sand dunes in the Sahara Today’s Image of the Day from the European Space Agency features the Sahara Desert in southeastern Algeria. This harsh region receives so little rain that it is often measured in millimeters.
The photo shows wind-shaped sand dunes and flat areas with tiny specks of vegetation, according to NASA.The Sahara is a desert on the African continent. With an area of 9,200,000 square kilometres (3,600,000 sq mi), it is the largest hot desert in the world and the third largest desert overall, smaller only than the deserts of Antarctica and the Arctic.
Satellites provide large-scale monitoring on desert ecosystems and provide details on their expansion and also their risk of soil degradation and erosion. 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.
Satellite data can also help with water management and predicting dust storms in the Sahara.
Image Credit: ESA