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EGYPT: desert potato

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EGYPT, Sharq El Owainat<br />
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The Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System, buried beneath the sand, allows patches of agriculture to survive in the middle of the desert. The aquifer is the only source of water for Egyptians living away from the Nile River. More than 95 percent of Egypt is uninhabitable desert with an average annual precipitation of 0 millimeters.<br />
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The crop circles are a result of center-pivot irrigation, an efficient method for water conservation in agriculture. Groundwater from the Nubian aquifer is drawn up from wells in the center of the circles, and it is sprayed or dripped out of long, rotating pipes that pivot around the center.<br />
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Most of the crops pictured here are likely potatoes (darker green circles), wheat (lighter brown circles), or medicinal and aromatic plants such as chamomile.<br />
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The International Space Station Program supports the laboratory as part of the ISS National Lab to help astronauts take pictures of Earth that will be of the greatest value to scientists and the public, and to make those images freely available on the Internet. <br />
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Caption by Andi Hollier, Hx5, JETS Contract at NASA-JSC.
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