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Kara-Kul Structure, Tajikistan

Near the center of this scene is the mountain lake Kara-Kul, located in eastern Tajikistan, high in the Pamir Mountain Range near the Afghan border. The 25-kilometer (16-mile) diameter lake sits at an elevation of about 4,000 meters (about 12,000 feet) above sea level. Kara-Kul was formed from a meteorite impact approximately 25 million years ago, leaving a crater with a rim diameter of 45 kilometers (28 miles). Islands formed from the central uplift can be seen in the northern and southern parts of the lake. Interestingly, the Kara-Kul impact structure remained unidentified until it was discovered though studies of imagery taken from space. This image was taken by the Landsat 7 satellite on September 28, 2001.

Image provided by the USGS EROS Data Center Satellite Systems Branch