Uluru (the Aboriginal name for Ayers Rock) is located in the remote south-west corner of the Northern
Territory, roughly in the center of the Australian continent. The area surrounding the Rock and the
nearby Mt. Olga (also called Kata Tjuta, or sometimes “the Olgas”) is all part of Uluru - Kata Tjuta National Park, which is administered jointly by the
Australian government and the Aboriginal community. The nearest town of any size is Alice Springs
(pop. 26,000), which is about 275 miles away by road.
Uluru lives up to its status as the world’s most famous monolith - rising 348 metres above the
surrounding plain, occupying an area of 3.33 sq km, and with a girth of 9.4 km. The sandstone rock
is especially impressive at dawn and sunset when the red rock spectacularly changes hue. There are
walks around the base of the rock which pass caves, rock art and sacred Aboriginal sites.
This image was acquired by
Landsat 7's Enhanced Thematic Mapper plus
(ETM+) sensor on October 16, 1999. This is a false-color composite image made using shortwave
infrared, infrared, and blue wavelengths (ETM+ bands 7, 4, and 1). The larger area image that
includes the Olgas has also been sharpened using the sensor's panchromatic band.