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A Stark Divide

A Stark Divide

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Saturday, January 18, 2020/Categories: natural history

      Atacama Desert, Andes Mountains, Bernejo River, and Tropical Rainforests, 11-13-2019 (credit: ISS/NASA)

South America's Bernejo River shows the abrupt divide between tropical rainforests and hyper-arid deserts. Astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) photographed the meandering river, tropical forests, farms, and part of the great Atacama Desert along the Pacific Coast. The Andes Mountains separate the deserts from the interior rainforests. According to NASA, the river originates on the eastern side of the high mountain chain in Bolivia and flows eastwards into the Paraguay-Paraña Rivers in Brazil and Paraguay. The photograph captured the stark divide between the hyper-aridity of the desert and the lush-green of the tropical rainforests, one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems on Earth. The international program assists astronauts on the space station to gather images with the greatest value to scientists and others.

The new image also illustrates the beauty and wonder of Earth's green, blue, and brown landscapes.



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