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Snow in the Sahara desert

It happened for the third time in 40 years. The image has been captured by the European Space Agency Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission. 

AUTHOR Evangelical Focus BRUSSELS 16 JANUARY 2018 16:08 h GMT+1
snow, sahara, desert Snow in the region of El Baydah (Algeria), 7 January 2018. / ESA (CC, BY, SA 3.0)

The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission of the European Space Agency (ESA) regularly takes images of planet Earth, but this one is special.



In the image has been posted on the agency’s website, snow can be seen in the Northwestern region of Algeria, on the edge of the Sahara desert. This is one of the hottest places on Earth.



The image was taken five days earlier, on January 7.



“Most of the snow had melted by the end of the next day, but luckily the Sentinel-2A satellite happened to be in the right place at the right time to record this rare event from space”, the ESA reported.



The town of El Baydah can be seen in the image (bottom left). “The snow was reported to be up to 40 cm thick in some places. Although temperatures plummet during the night, snowfall is very unusual in the Sahara because the air is so dry”.



It is only “the third time in nearly 40 years that this part of the desert has seen snow”.



The Copernicus mission is largely used to track changes in Earth’s land and vegetation.


 

 


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