May 11, 2024 - Kavir Desert, Iran

Kavir Desert

A spectacular, remote, and forbidding desert stretches across part of north-eastern Iran. Known as the Dasht-e Kavir, or Kavir Desert, it is the largest desert in Iran and extremely arid. Despite the modern-day lack of water and baking heat, the Kavir Desert hasn’t always been bone-dry. According to scientists, tens of millions of years ago this desert lay underneath a salt-rich ocean. Slowly- very slowly-the water evaporated, leaving behind a rugged region covered by a layer of salt. In some places, the residual salt is as much as 7 km (4.4 miles) thick.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired this true-color image on April 28. Each patch of white is an area encrusted in salt and minerals.

Image Facts
Satellite: Terra
Date Acquired: 4/28/2024
Resolutions: 1km (15.6 KB), 500m (52 KB), 250m (244.9 KB)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC