The Atacama Desert is famous for being the driest place on the planet. Due to its position between the Chilean Coastal Range and Andean Mountains it sits in rain shadows from both the East and West.  These hyper-arid condition have persisted for 200 million years or more, also making it the oldest desert on Earth. Most areas have not seen notable rainfall within the last 500 years or so. Unsurprisingly, it is often compared to the surface of Mars, and in fact NASA uses it to test instruments for its Mars rovers.

The desert does however contain rich deposits of copper and sodium nitrate (which Chile and Bolivia fought over in the late 19th century). Also, due to its high altitude, extremely dry air, and lack of light pollution, the Atacama is also utilized as one of the most important locations for astronomical observation in the world. Many countries and space agencies operate some of the largest telescopes in the world here.

fullsizeoutput_1deb

fullsizeoutput_1dec

fullsizeoutput_1df3

fullsizeoutput_1df8

fullsizeoutput_1dfb

fullsizeoutput_1dff

fullsizeoutput_1e04

fullsizeoutput_1e08

fullsizeoutput_1e0b

fullsizeoutput_1e60

fullsizeoutput_1e11

fullsizeoutput_1e12

fullsizeoutput_1e17

fullsizeoutput_1e15

fullsizeoutput_1e25

fullsizeoutput_1e1b

fullsizeoutput_1e1d

fullsizeoutput_1e23

fullsizeoutput_1e24

fullsizeoutput_1e2c

fullsizeoutput_1e2d

fullsizeoutput_1e3c


 

0 comments on “Atacama Photo Journal

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: