Morocco's Anti-Atlas Mountains


The Anti-Atlas Mountains of Morocco formed as a result of the collision of the African and Eurasian tectonic plates about 80 million years ago. This collision destroyed the Tethys Ocean. The limestone, sandstone, claystone and gypsum layers that formed the ocean bed were folded and crumpled to create the Anti-Atlas Mountains. In this image of southwest Morocco, visible, near infrared and short wavelength infrared bands are combined to dramatically highlight the different rock types, and illustrate the complex folding. The image was acquired on November 5, 2007, by the ASTER instrument on the Terra satellite.
Terra launched 20 years ago in December 1999, beginning a new era in the study of Earth. Terra, flagship of the agency’s Earth Observing System, was built to last for six years and 30,000 orbits.​ But, 20 years later Terra and its five onboard instruments continue on a mission of discovery, providing data about the planet we call home.

Image Credit: NASA/METI/AIST/Japan Space Systems, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team