Eye of the Sahara, Mauretania
Last year, on April 7th, PROBA-V captured this beautiful 100 m false-colour image of the Richat Structure in Mauretania. This massive, circular structure, reminiscent of an over-sized eye or ammonite, is particularly striking among the mostly homogeneous landscape of the vast, surrounding Sahara desert.
The structure remained hidden for millennia, as it was hard to spot from ground level. Yet, it served as prominent navigation landmark since the earliest space missions, as well as photographic topic for astronauts, for instance in NASA’s Geminy IV mission in the 1960s.
Due to its shape, the “Eye of the Sahara” was initially interpreted as being the result of a meteorite impact. Nowadays, geologists consider it as a highly symmetrical and deeply eroded geologic dome, with spectacular and silica-rich hydrothermal features, deserving protection and further study of its origin.