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From: Dan Richter (1:317/3)
To: All
Date: Mon, 26.10.20 12:00
MODIS Pic of the Day 26 October 2020
October 26, 2020 - Snow in Tian Shan


Snow in Tian Shan

The Tian Shan Mountains form one of the longest continuous mountain
ranges in the world, extending more than 1,500 miles (2,500 kilometers)
across parts of Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and China. The snowpack that
falls each winter provides fresh water to the surrounding area during
the spring as summer as it slowly melts to replenish local rivers. The
snow that tops the Tian Shan gives rise to the range’s nickname:
“Central Asia’s Water Tower”.

On October 22, 2020, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer
(MODIS) on board NASA’s Terra satellite acquired a true-color image of
the snow-covered Tian Shan peaks which rim the arid Taklimakan Desert
in northwest China.

The Taklimakan, seen south of the mountains, is a low-lying basin
enclosed by mountain ranges on three sides. Rain and snow will fall on
the mountains, but have difficulty passing over the peaks, creating a
rain shadow—an area that receives very little rain and becomes
extremely dry most of the year. This large and persistent rain shadow
has created the second-largest shifting sand desert on Earth. The green
ribbon that runs south through the Taklimakan is formed by the Hotan
River. It is fed primarily by snowmelt from the Kunlun Mountains in the
south and runs northward through the Taklimakan to meet the Tarim River
near the base of the Tian Shan mountains.

Image Facts
Satellite: Terra
Date Acquired: 10/22/2020
Resolutions: 1km (65.2 KB), 500m (238.8 KB), 250m (809.9
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC

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