Simpson Desert, Australia, from Galileo spacecraft

Simpson Desert, Australia, from Galileo spacecraft

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Credit: NASA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: The Simpson Desert in Australia, an image made in visible light by the Galileo spacecraft at a distance of 56,000km during a gravity-assist flyby of the Earth. At lower right may be seen Lake Eyre, a seasonal lake which was at its dryest at the time. The pink area among the white salt deposit shows the last of the lake's water. The reddish soil is laterite, most of the silicates having been washed away over millions of years leaving only aluminium and iron minerals. Galileo has made one Earth flyby, with another in 1992, to boost it toward its final destination, Jupiter. Images such as this have proved useful in testing Galileo's sensors during the flight.

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Keywords: australia, desert, desert from space, desert landscape, earth, environment, from space, galileo imagery, geography, lake eyre, simpson desert

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