May 31, 200603:25 PMThe Life
Deserts of the world: Atacama
May 31, 2006 - 03:25 PMThe Atacama Desert of Chile is a sparsely-populated, virtually rainless plateau running from the Pacific Ocean to the Andes Mountains. The average width is less than 100 miles but it extends 600 miles south from the Peruvian border. The Atacama is made up of salt basins, sand and lava flows. The landscape is so desolate ("world's driest desert"), it has been chosen as a test site for Zoe, the prototype of a future Mars rover.
[Image courtesy of Carnegie Mellon University - click thumbnail photo to enlarge.]