GEOEYE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GEOEYE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Mosque of the Prophet. Satellite image of the area surrounding the Mosque of the Prophet (building at centre, white), Medina, Saudi Arabia. Also known as the Masjid al-Nabawi, it is one of the holiest sites of Islam, because it is where the Prophet Muhammad is buried. The scale of the building can be seen by the ring road surrounding it, and the high-rise buildings in the surrounding area (best seen at centre right and lower right). The mosque was greatly expanded in the 20th century, reaching over 100 times the size it was when built in the seventh century. It can now contain over half a million worshippers at any one time. Image taken by the Ikonos satellite, which launched in 1999.
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