On 28 January 2016 the Sentinel-2A satellite captured central western Namibia, a colourful and diverse landscape of an area surrounding the Namib Naukluft Park.
It includes the world’s oldest desert – and the Naukluft Mountain range, which is also the largest game park in Africa and the fourth largest in the world.
The surface water of Namibia’s coast is relatively cold, so that moist air moving in with westerly winds cools and falls as rain before it reaches the coast, allowing only fog to reach inland. The fog enables life in this region for animals and insects.
Sand dunes are represented by the burnt orange colour in the image, coming from the iron in the sand that is oxidised, developing this rusty-metal colour over time. It becomes brighter as the dune ages, as is clearly visible along the middle of this natural-colour image.
The top-left part of the image is the Kuiseb River bordered on one side by some of the tallest sand dunes in the world, and on the other by barren rock.
The top-right corner of the image is cut by the C14 Highway and to its right there is a rock formation with a ridgeline, with water flowing along both sides, giving life to vegetation.
The Tsondab River is seen in the bottom of the image. The riverbed hits the colossal sand dunes, and appears bright white from the salt and mineral formations remaining after its water evaporates.
The image comes from the Copernicus Sentinel-2A satellite, that has been in orbit since June 2015, providing data on vegetation health, among other applications.