Can you believe that this is a photograph? It was taken by the ESA's Sentinel-2A satellite over northwestern China. The mountains are part of Tian Shan range, which stretches about 2800 km across this region that borders Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, making it one of the longest mountain ranges in Central Asia. It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013.

Admittedly, it is a false-color image, and there's an important reason for this. They're monitoring the glaciers because they are a key indicator of climate change, and their melting poses threats to communities living downstream. Snow and clouds are both white – had this image been in true color, we wouldn’t be able to differentiate between the two. In this image, clouds are white while snow appears blue.

Mona Evans
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