Image: Dasht-e Lut desert detail from orbit

June 20, 2014
Credit: KARI/ESA

Wind-carved ridges and furrows in southeast Iran's Dasht-e Lut salt desert are pictured in this satellite image.

The desert is often called the 'hottest place on Earth' as satellites measured record there for several years. The highest land surface temperature ever recorded was in the Lut Desert in 2005 at 70.7ºC, as measured by NASA's Aqua satellite.

The region is generally considered an abiotic zone – meaning that even bacteria cannot survive here, let alone plants and animals. Some reports claim that research groups brought sterilised milk to the desert and left it uncovered in the shade, but the milk remained sterile.

The area pictured is surrounded by , visible on the left side of the image. The ridges dominating the image extend about 125 km.

This image was acquired by Korea's Kompsat-2 satellite on 4 November 2011.

ESA supports Kompsat as a Third Party Mission, meaning it uses its ground infrastructure and expertise to acquire, process and distribute data to users.

Explore further: Image: Qarhan Salt Lake

Related Stories

Image: Qarhan Salt Lake

November 22, 2013

This false-colour composite image from the Kompsat-2 satellite shows part of the Qarhan Salt Lake on the Tibetan Plateau in China.

Recommended for you

Supervolcanoes: A key to America's electric future?

August 16, 2017

Most of the lithium used to make the lithium-ion batteries that power modern electronics comes from Australia and Chile. But Stanford scientists say there are large deposits in sources right here in America: supervolcanoes.

Greenland ice flow likely to speed up

August 16, 2017

Flow of the Greenland Ice Sheet is likely to speed up in the future, despite a recent slowdown, because its outlet glaciers slide over wet sediment, not hard rock, new research based on seismic surveys has confirmed. This ...

Climate change will cut crop yields: study

August 15, 2017

Climate change will have a negative effect on key crops such as wheat, rice, and maize, according to a major scientific report out Tuesday that reviewed 70 prior studies on global warming and agriculture.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.