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Cloud-Free View of Lake Balkhash in Kazakhstan

June 7, 2019
Lake Balkhash in Kazakhstan

Spanning approximately 6,900 square miles, Lake Balkhash in Kazakhstan is one of the largest lakes in Asia and the 15th largest in the world. On May 28, 2019, the NOAA-20 satellite captured this stunning cloud-free view of the lake, which is located in southeastern Kazakhstan.

The Saryesik Peninsula, located to the left of the Lake Balkhash label in this imagery, divides the body of water “into two separate hydrologic parts.” The western part of the lake is wider and contains almost fresh water that’s suitable for consumption, whereas the eastern part of the lake is much more narrow and saltier.

Although true-color images like this may appear to be photographs of Earth, they aren't. They are created by combining data from the three color channels on the VIIRS instrument sensitive to the red, green and blue (or RGB) wavelengths of light into one composite image. In addition, data from several other channels are often also included to cancel out or correct atmospheric interference that may blur parts of the image.