Lake Acraman sits inside the eroded ruins of an ancient impact crater in the Gawler Ranges in South Australia. Presently about 20 kilometres wide, the original crater could have been up to 85 or 90 kilometres across. It is thought to have formed during the impact of a large meteoroid about 580 million years ago.
AFTER ANTARCTICA, AUSTRALIA IS THE DRIEST continent on Earth, and is largely covered by desert. But even the desert sometimes gets rain, as witnessed by the salt lakes spread throughout the landscape. Although usually dry, they very occasionally can receive water, often as runoff from higher ground.
These amazing images of the Australian ‘outback’were taken by Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli during his stay aboard the International Space Station.
According to Wikipedia, Lake Cadibarrawirracanna has the distinction of having the second-longest official place name in Australia. This salt lake is found within the Woomera Prohibited Area in South Australia. Woomera was once a very active rocket launch facility in the 1950s and 1960s. The name Cadibarrawirracanna means 'stars dancing on water'.
Another salt lake is Lake Frome, also in South Australia. An ephemeral lake, it spends most of its life dry but sometimes fills with water. According to indigenous Australian Dreamtime mythology, the Rainbow Serpent Akurra drank all the water in the lake.
Lake Noondie, another salt lake, is located in the remote Murchison area of Western Australia.
This looks like an amazing piece of artwork, or maybe stained tissue cells under a microscope. In fact, what we see here is the dramatic red landscape near Lake Willis in Western Australia.
Another apparent artwork, this time red sand dunes in outback Western Australia. Fuffy white clouds show there is some moisture in the air.
Earlier Australia from Space pictorials:
Australia from Space: Part 1
Australia from Space: Part 2
Adapted from information issued by ESA / NASA.
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