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Timor and Nearby Islands in Maritime Southeast Asia

9.8S 124.3E

November 23rd, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Timor-Leste - September 24th, 2009

Timor-Leste - September 24th, 2009

Timor is an island at the southern end of Maritime Southeast Asia, north of the Timor Sea. The largest island in this image, it is divided between the independent state of East Timor (or Timor-Leste), and West Timor, belonging to the Indonesian province of East Nusa Tenggara.

The island’s surface is 11,883 square miles (30,777 km²). The name is a variant of timur, Malay for “east”; it is so called because it is at the east end of a chain of islands. The closest of these islands belong to the Alor Archipelago (due north of West Timor), which in turn is part of the Lesser Sunda Islands.

Visible below the southwestern tip of Timor is the island of Rote, while the island above the northeastern end is called Wetar, part of the Barat Daya Islands, including Wetar.

Timor has older geology and lacks the volcanic nature of the northern Lesser Sunda Islands. The orientation of the main axis of the island also differs from its neighbors. These features have been explained as the result of being on the northern edge of the Indo-Australian Plate as it pushes into Southeast Asia.

Tierra del Fuego, Argentina and Chile

54.7S 68.2W

November 22nd, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Argentina - October 6th, 2009

Argentina - October 6th, 2009

Tierra del Fuego (Spanish for “Land of Fire”) is an archipelago 73,753 km2 (28,476 sq mi) off the southernmost tip of the South American mainland, across the Strait of Magellan. The southern point of the archipelago forms Cape Horn.

Tierra del Fuego is shared by Argentina and Chile. More precisely, 18.507,3 km2 belongs to Argentina (38,57% of the region’s total surface), 29.484,7 km2 belongs to Chile (61,43% of total surface).

The climate in this region is very inhospitable. It is a subpolar oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification Cfc) with short, cool summers and long, wet, moderate winters. The precipitation averages 3,000 mm (118 in) a year.

Temperatures in Ushuaia hardly surpass 9 °C (50 °F) in summers and average 0 °C (30 °F) in winters. Snowfall can occur in summer. The cold and wet summers help preserve the ancient glaciers.

The southernmost islands possess subantarctic climate typical of tundra that makes the growth of trees impossible. Some areas in the interior have a polar climate.

Somalia and Ethiopia on the Horn of Africa

8.1N 47.8E

November 22nd, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Somalia and Ethiopia - November 16th, 2009

Somalia and Ethiopia - November 16th, 2009

The Horn of Africa is the easternmost region in Africa, comprising the countries of Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti. This image includes most of Somalia and the eastern part of Ethiopia.

No distinct geographical feature clearly deliminates the border between the two countries in this image, although it is suggested by the more rusty colored Ethiopian land towards the center.

While Ethiopia is landlocked, Somalia has a long coastline of 3,025 kilometers that has been of importance for trade. Inland, Somalia’s terrain consists mainly of plateaus, plains, and highlands. However, there are some rugged mountain ranges in the north near the Gulf of Aden coast; these are the Karkaar Mountains, which appear dark green here.

While Ethiopia also has several important mountain ranges, the land area here is much lower and flatter than the western parts of the country.

Jabal Kharaz Mountains in Yemen Near Gulf of Aden Coast

12.7N 44.1E

November 21st, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Yemen - November 16th, 2009

Yemen - November 16th, 2009

The Jabal Kharaz mountains stand out just a short distance from the coast of Yemen along the Gulf of Aden in center of the shoreline visible in this orthorectified image.

Jabal Kharaz is a mountainous range of limestone and granite formations extending to within 1 mile of the coast. The summit, 850 meters high, rises about 15 miles northeast of Ras al Arah. A ruin of roughly hewn stone stands on the west side of the usmmit.

Notch, a 2051m high peak, stands about 2 miles north of Jabal Kharaz. A range which extends about 65 miles east from Notch lies from 20 to 25 miles inland and attains hieghts of 914 to 1981m.

Peary Land: the Mountainous Polar Desert of Northern Greenland

82.6N 31.9W

November 19th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Greenland - November 10th, 2009

Greenland - November 10th, 2009

Peary Land is a peninsula in northern Greenland, extending into the Arctic Ocean. It is only a bit more than 700 km south of the North Pole. It is bounded by Lincoln Sea (west of Cape Morris Jesup) and Wandel Sea of the Arctic Ocean in the north.

Inland, it reaches from Victoria Fjord in the west to Independence Fjord in the south and southeast, and to the Arctic Ocean in the north, with Cape Morris Jesup, the northernmost point of Greenland’s mainland, and Cape Bridgman in the northeast.

Peary Land is not part of any municipality, but is part of the Northeast Greenland National Park. The size of the region is about 375 km east-west and 200 km north-south, with an estimated area of 57 000 km²

The area is mountainous with elevations to 1 950 m in the heavily glaciated Roosevelt Range and to comparable heights in the little-explored H.H. Benedict Range. The area is free of Greenland’s inland ice cap.

Being mostly north of the 82°N parallel, it contains the most northerly ice-free region of the world, mostly in Southern Peary Land. Precipitation levels are so low (only about 25 to 200 mm per year, all as snow) that it is called a polar desert.