June 6, 2024 - Namibia's Orange Desert

Namib Desert

This stunning true-color image of the soft orange sands of Namibia’s coastal desert and that country’s rugged interior plateau was acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite on June 4, 2024.

The Namib desert is considered the oldest desert on Earth as well as the home to some of the planet’s tallest sand dunes. Created by strong onshore winds, the sand dunes can rise higher than 1,000 feet (305 meters). The tallest dune, which is nicknamed “Big Daddy”, measures 1,065 feet (325 meters) tall.

The Namib Desert is a hyper-arid region, with an exceptionally low and highly unpredictable annual rainfall varying between 5 and 85 millimeters (0.2 to 3.3 inches). In the western section of the desert, most of the moisture rolls in as fog from the Atlantic Ocean. The fog often clings to the surface and in some places provides enough moisture to allow sparse vegetation to grow in this otherwise stark landscape.

Image Facts
Satellite: Terra
Date Acquired: 6/4/2024
Resolutions: 1km (44.8 KB), 500m (105.2 KB), 250m (210.8 KB)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC