EarthWatch: Patagonian Andes in Chile

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Carved out by ancient glaciers, this portion of the coastal Andes is rich with glacial fjords, complex shorelines, active volcanoes, and marine life. 


Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute‚Äôs Office of Public Outreach in collaboration with the NASA Earth Observatory:  
  • Astronaut photograph ISS062-E-113155 acquired by Expedition 62 Crew of the International Space Station, provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations Facility and the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, Johnson Space Center. 
  • Image of the Day story by Andrea Meado, Jacobs/JETS Contract at NASA-JSC: 
  • Adaptation to ViewSpace by Claire Blome, Margaret W. Carruthers, and Dani Player
  • Music from Music for Nonprofits 


Text, Earth Watch, Exploring the blue planet by satellite. Earth Observatory. Earth Observatory dot nasa dot gov. Operational Land Imager, Landsat 8 satellite. Patagonian Andes in Chile.
This nearly cloud-free view of the northern Patagonian Andes is rich with geological features.
September 13, 2020.
Melimoyu Volcano is a large, ice-capped, active stratovolcano that last erupted roughly 1,800 years ago. An arrow points to and labels Melimoyu Volcano in the center of the image.
Text, Roughly 25,000 years ago, the land and water in this photo were entirely covered by ice.
As massive glaciers retreated, they carved up the land and created interconnected fjords and channels.
We move further south. Text, The Moraleda Channel is a gateway between many smaller fjords and the open ocean. The Moraleda Channel is labeled in the southwest corner of the image.
Text, Its waters support a diverse mix of freshwater, estuary and marine species, including blue whales.
A second ice cap sits atop Mentolat Volcano, the other active volcano in the region. Its last confirmed eruption occurred in 1710. We travel further south in the image. The Mentolat Volcano is labeled east of the Moraleda Channel. Text, To learn more, go to earth observatory dot nasa dot gov.