[Skip to content]
ISS012-E-18779
Browse image
Resolutions offered for this image:
1000 x 661 pixels 540 x 357 pixels 540 x 405 pixels 1520 x 1008 pixels 639 x 435 pixels

MAP LOCATION
latitude/longitude of image
Spacecraft nadir point: 27.5° N, 51.8° E

Photo center point: 33.5° N, 57.0° E

Nadir to Photo Center: Northeast

Spacecraft Altitude: 186 nautical miles (344km)
Click for Google map
IMAGE DETAILS
features and other details
CAMERA INFORMATION
information about camera used
ALL DOWNLOAD OPTIONS
additional formats
Width Height Annotated Cropped Purpose Download Image 
1000 pixels 661 pixels No Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site Download
540 pixels 357 pixels Yes Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site Download
540 pixels 405 pixels Yes Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site Download
1520 pixels 1008 pixels No No Not enhanced Download
639 pixels 435 pixels No No Download
Other options available:
Download Packaged File
Download a Google Earth KML for this Image
View photo footprint information
Image Caption: Winter in the Dasht-e-Lut Desert, Eastern Iran

An International Space Station crew member took this striking photograph one evening in late February. The image takes advantage of the Sun's low angle to reveal linear geological structures of the Iranian mountain range bordering the western edge of the basin known as Dasht-e-Lut. The range rises 1,818 meters (6,000 feet) above sea level and lies 750 kilometers (466 miles) north of the Persian Gulf. The convoluted appearance results from erosion of folded and faulted rocks--softer rocks erode away quickly, leaving more resistant rock to form linear ridges that are perpendicular to the direction of compression. While not a major oil-producing region like the Zagros Fold Belt to the southwest, the mountains of east-central Iran contain economically important deposits of copper and other metals.

Little vegetation can be seen from space in the arid interior basin of the Dasht-e-Lut. Iran is climatically part of the Afro-Asian belt of deserts that stretch from the Cape Verde islands off West Africa all the way to Mongolia near Beijing, China. The patchy, elongated, light-colored feature in the foreground (parallel to the mountain range) is the northernmost of the Dasht dry lakes that stretch southward 300 kilometers (186 miles). In near-tropical deserts, elevated areas capture most precipitation. Agricultural fields that depend on this precipitation appear as small dark patches in this image. They are located downslope, near the margin of the lake's dry, salty soils.