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Sahara Desert by NASA

Sahara Desert, 2016


Watercolor washes of indigo blue form a background over which the foamy crests of golden waves flow. You can almost hear the sizzle of the receding waves as they pull back from sand under your feet to merge back with blue water. If this were in fact an artist’s interpretation, we’d marvel at the varied textures, intricate detail and complex color palette. But it isn’t. It’s sand — a lot of sand: the Sahara Desert, in western Libya. Middle school students programmed a camera aboard the International Space Station to photograph this through a program called EarthKAM.

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