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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

"the Navel of the World"

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Thursday, January 8, 2015/Categories: natural history, photography, space science, environment, adventure

A distant mountain in Tibet is called "the navel of the world". Snows melting from its slopes are the source of water for some of the longest and most important rivers in Asia: the Brahmaputra, the Sutlej and the Karnali. This far-away peak is considered sacred in four religious traditions: the Bon, Buddhists, Hindus, and Jains and pilgrims trek on foot around the massif, a four-day endeavor at elevations exceeding 18,000 feet.

Mount Kailash, Tibet  (credit: CalTech-JPL JPL)

Scientists and engineers at CalTech used multiple light wavelengths ranging from the visible to the thermal infrared to create a high-resolution (~50 to 300 feet), ASTER  image-map to monitor changes on the mountain's glaciers. The stated scientific goals at Caltech were:

"to develop a understanding of the Earth as an integrated system, its response to change, and to better predict variability and trends in climate, weather, and natural hazards."

The pilgrims trekking around Mount Kailash likely had similar lofty intentions.


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