Science and Exploration

Richat Structure in Mauritania As Seen From Orbit

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
April 6, 2015
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Richat Structure in Mauritania As Seen From Orbit
Richat Structure

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station captured this image of a huge crater in Africa on Nov. 22, 2014.
This is the Richat Structure in northwestern Mauritania, otherwise known as the “Eye of the Sahara.” Scientists are still deciding whether this was formed by a subterranean volcano or impact from a large meteor. Deep in the Sahara Desert it is nearly a perfect circle, it is 1.2 miles (1.9 kilometers) wide, and sports a rim 330 feet (100 meters) tall.

The crater sits in a vast plain of rocks so ancient they were deposited hundreds of millions of years before the first dinosaurs walked the Earth.

ISS042E007131 (11/22/2014) larger image

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.