Instagram post by @esa_earth ESA Earth From Space

Rolling sand dunes in the expansive Rub’ al Khali desert on the southern Arabian Peninsula are pictured in this image from the Sentinel-2A satellite. 
Also known at the ‘Empty Quarter’, the Rub’ al Khali is the largest contiguous sand desert in the world. Precipitation rarely exceeds 35 mm a year and regular high temperatures are around 50°C. 
The yellow lines and dots in this false-colour image are sand dunes. Looking closer at the dunes in the lower right, many have three or more ‘arms’ shaped by changing wind directions and are known as ‘star dunes’. They tend to ‘grow’ upwards rather than laterally, and reach up to 250 m in height in some parts of the  Rub’ al Khali. 
The dunes are interspersed with hardened flat plains – remnants of shallow lakes that existed thousands of years ago, formed by monsoon-like rains and runoff. The multispectral instrument on Sentinel-2 uses parts of the infrared spectrum to detect subtle changes in vegetation cover, but can also see changes in mineral composition where vegetation is sparse. In this image, shades of brown to bright purple show the mineral composition, possibly including salt or gypsum. 
This image was captured by Sentinel-2A on 22 December 2015.
#Copernicus #Sentinel #Sentinel2 #satellite #ColourVision #SandDunes #RubAlKhali #desert #ArabianPeninsula #Arabia #SatelliteImage #EmptyQuarter #LargestSandDesert #FalseColour #dunes #StarDunes #FlatPlains #ShallowLakes #vegetation #salt #gypsum
Copyright: contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2015), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO


  • 52w ago le778nt le778nt


  • 52w ago ika_zet ika_zet

    Been there, loved the place. Approached from south of Liwa, Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Picture from land at sunset:

  • 52w ago __emmahugo__ __emmahugo__

    Looks like a close up butterfly wing 😊

  • 51w ago landsat365 landsat365

    Pretty colors. What band combination is used? I shared a SWIR-R-B Landsat 8 image of this area a while ago.

  • 51w ago helen.fuge helen.fuge

    Fascinating 💙💙💙

  • 51w ago esa_earth esa_earth

    @landsat365 I'll try to track the data you required.

  • 51w ago esa_earth esa_earth

    Hello, @landsat365! Band combination for this Sentinel-2 image is: 4-8-2


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