ISS052-E-20826
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Spacecraft nadir point: 19.6° S, 127.6° E

Photo center point: 21.4° S, 128.6° E

Nadir to Photo Center: Southeast

Spacecraft Altitude: 220 nautical miles (407km)
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Image Caption: Lake Hazlett and Lake Willis

An astronaut aboard the International Space Station shot this photograph of Lake Willis and Lake Hazlett while flying over the Great Sandy Desert in Western Australia.

Hundreds of ephemeral salt lakes are peppered throughout the arid Australian Outback. When occasional flood waters pour into the lakebeds and then evaporate, they leave salt mineral deposits and create bright, expansive layers (evaporite deposits) that are readily visible from space. The reddish-brown linear sand dunes are slightly higher in elevation (1.5 to 3 meters, 5 to 10 feet) and align with the general east to west wind flow in the region.

Approximately 32 kilometers (20 miles) south of the lakes lies the fourth largest salt lake in Australia: Lake Mackay. The Pintubi tribe and other Australian Aborigine survived around these lakes for thousands of years in what is now called the Kiwirrkurra Community.