The heart-shaped oasis in Egypt has sustained human life for over 8,000 years

May 25, 2021

While in orbit over Egypt, an astronaut from the International Space Station (ISS) took a picture of this heart-shaped basin bordering the Nile River and the Western Desert. Depressionknown as Fayum oasisextends over 1,200 square kilometers (450 square miles) and formed from the ancient bottom of the lake Lake Morris.

Partial dam of Lake Merris during the reign of Ptolemy II allowed to master for agriculture significant areas of fertile alluvial soil. Today, the salt lake of Karun (Birket Qarun), located on the northern edge of the depression, is a remnant of Moeris. The salinity of Lake Karun is caused high evaporation rate in arid climates.

Farms and gardens fill the hollow and line the western banks of the Nile. Many small gray spots are villages and towns in intensively cultivated agricultural areas. The district supported human life for more than 8,000 years and provides resources for many species of birds and fish, as well as endangered species slender horned gazelle.

Bahr Youssef, which connects the Nile with the Fayum Oasis, was originally formed as a natural branch of the river. In 2300 BC it was widened and deepened into a canal to help regulate the flow to the oasis. The canal transports fresh water and sediments to the area before falling into Lake Karun.

A photo of astronaut ISS065-E-66742 was taken on May 25, 2021 using a Nikon D5 digital camera with a focal length of 100 millimeters. This is provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observation Center and the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, Johnson Space Center. The photo was taken by a member of the crew of the 65th expedition. The image is cropped and enhanced to improve contrast, and lens artifacts are removed. The International Space Station program supports the lab as part of the ISS National Laboratory to help astronauts make images of the Earth that will be most valuable to scientists and the public, as well as make these images freely available online. Signed by Sarah Schmidt, GeoControl Systems, JETS Contract at NASA-AAT. The heart-shaped oasis in Egypt has sustained human life for over 8,000 years

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