Orbital View: Spring Bouquet

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

That’s what this satellite shot brings to mind:

One commenter asks, “What planet is that @nasa?” According to their website:

The Turpan Depression, nestled at the foot of China’s Bogda Mountains, is a strange mix of salt lakes and sand dunes. It is one of the few landscapes in the world that lies below sea level.

NASA adds via Instagram:

These environmental #satellites can measure outside the visible range of light, so these images show more than what is visible to the naked eye. The beauty of Earth is clear, and the artistry ranges from the surreal to the sublime. Truly, by escaping Earth’s gravity we discovered its attraction. Earth as art—enjoy.

And, yes, it’s available for download in high resolution, should you need a bright new desktop background.

(See all Orbital Views here)