November 22, 2022 - Clear Skies over Qatar


Sunny skies and fair weather allowed the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on board NASA’s Terra satellite to capture a gorgeous true-color image of Qatar on November 21, 2022.

Located in the Middle East and sharing a land border only with Saudi Arabia, Qatar measures slightly smaller in size than the U.S. state of Connecticut. Although nearly surrounded by the Persian Gulf, the CIA World Factbook describes the country’s landscape as “mostly flat and barren desert”. Only about 1 percent of the land is arable, with roughly 0.2 percent of land in permanent crops. The green dots scattered across the backdrop of tan sand, as seen in this image, primarily mark irrigated farmlands and some developed housing areas.

Despite the lack of natural greenery across most of the country, Qatar sits over large reserves of oil and natural gas reserves and is strategically located in the central Persian Gulf. It has become one of the richest countries in the world, on a per capita basis. Most of the people live in the capital city, Doha, which is located on the round bay on the southeastern coastline. The name of the city is said to derive from the Arabic term “dohat”, which means “roundness” and refers to the coastal bays.

In 2010, Qatar was awarded the honor of hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the largest single-sport competition in the world. Thirty-two men’s national football (soccer) teams compete for the championship over the course of 64 matches, all held in and around the city of Doha. It is expected that more than one million people will watch the matches in person from November 20 to December 18. FIFA anticipates that the competition will reach a global in-home television audience of over 3 billion people over that period, with more than a billion fans tuning in for the final match.

Preparations for the World Cup have been underway since 2010, and the changes can be seen from space. On November 19, 2022, NASA's Earth Observatory published an Image of the Day that showed some of those changes. To view "Stadium City Qatar", simply click here.

Image Facts
Satellite: Terra
Date Acquired: 11/21/2022
Resolutions: 1km (157 KB), 500m (403.6 KB), 250m (258 KB)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC