Blog | February 16, 2010, 16:00 PST

Pick of the pics

Kazakhstan: Where farming meets mining

Image taken by the crew of the STS-112 International Space Station mission on October 17, 2002, with a 400mm lens. Courtesy of the Earth Sciences and Image Analysis Laboratory at Johnson Space Center. Caption adapted from the Earth Observatory.

Image taken by the crew of the STS-112 International Space Station mission on October 17, 2002, with a 400mm lens. Courtesy of the Earth Sciences and Image Analysis Laboratory at Johnson Space Center. Caption adapted from the Earth Observatory.

Agricultural activities and mining occur side by side in the Republic of Kazakhstan. This scene is located in the Turgayskaya Oblast of central Kazakhstan, near the provincial capital of Arkalyk, where Russian spacecraft landings occur. To the right are large, mostly square fields that likely contain spring wheat, one of the cereal grains that grows well in the cold and dry climate. The colorful, irregular patterns seen on the left appear to be surface-mining operations where water has accumulated into small lakes. Bauxite and asbestos are the principal minerals extracted in this region.



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