Taklimakan Desert, Western China
Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC
The Taklimakan Desert in northwest China is a vast region of sand desert sitting in a depression between two high, rugged mountain ranges. Seen in these true-color Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) images, the Taklimakan's rolling sand dunes stretch out over about 125,000 square miles in the Xinjiang region of China. The desert is hemmed in to the north by the Tien Shan Mountain range and to the south by the rugged Kunlun Mountains. In the image from January 2, 2003, a blanket of snow covers the desert’s outer edges.