Stunning views of the granite “Burning Mountain” captured from space

Stunning views of the granite “Burning Mountain” captured from space

Image of the Brandberg Cluster taken by an astronaut on January 24, 2024 aboard the International Space Station.

Made of reddish granite, this “Burning Mountain” is the highest point in Namibia.

This photo, taken by a crew member aboard the International Space Station (ISS), shows part of the central Namib Desert, directly from the Atlantic Ocean. The Brandberg Massif, a circular mass of rock that forms the highest mountain in Namibia, is visible in the center of the image. The mountain rises 2,573 meters (8,442 ft) above sea level.

Cultural and geological importance

The massif is known as “Brandberg” in Afrikaans, Dutch and German, and “Durs” in the local Damara language. The mountain is sacred to the San people, whose ancestors are said to have painted the famous cave painting “The White Lady.”

The Namib is an ancient coastal desert where the soil is thin or non-existent. The lack of deep soil makes it possible to observe a variety of colors and textures of different types of rocks from the space station. The Brandberg mass itself appears in faint red colours. Geologists classify the mountain as a granite intrusion, similar to the famous El Capitan massif in Yosemite National Park. All of the granite landscapes in this image were formed as part of continental breakup 132 million years ago, when the land masses we know today as South America and Africa began to separate.

Geological history and human impact

Much older rocks are also visible. Geologists believe that the gray-colored shale northwest of Brandberg formed 750 to 650 million years ago, and that the red-colored sedimentary rocks in the southwest formed 300 to 250 million years ago. Meesum Crater, a remnant of one of the largest volcanic eruptions on Earth, formed around the same time the continent broke apart.

READ  Science explains why great minds choose the same outfit every day!

Signs of human activity are also visible. The city of Uys, centered around a tin mine, serves as a starting point for tourists visiting rock paintings and archaeological sites in the region, especially in the Tsesab Gorge.

Astronaut image ISS070-E-76460 was acquired on January 21, 2024 with a Nikon D5 digital camera using a focal length of 170 mm. This is guaranteed by International Space Station (ISS) Crew Earth Observation Facility and Earth Sciences and Remote Sensing Unit, Johnson Space Center. The photo was taken by an Expedition 70 crew member. The photo has been cropped and enhanced to improve contrast, and lens artifacts have been removed. The International Space Station Program supports the laboratory as part of the International Space Station National Laboratory to help astronauts take images of Earth that will be of great value to scientists and the public, and to return those images freely available on the Internet. Caption by Justin Wilkinson, Texas State University, JETS held at NASA-Securities Authority.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *