The Caucasus Mountains form a long (more than 1200 kilometers) and steep spine connecting the Black Sea to the Caspian. Mt. Elbrus, the summit of the Caucasus Mountains, is located in southern Russia just north of the Georgian border, and is distinguished as Europe’s highest peak (5642 m). Elbrus is also an ancient volcano, although it has not erupted for nearly 2000 years. Elbrus’s profile comprises two volcanic peaks (East and West). They are popular trekking and mountain climbing destinations—the saddle between them provides access to the region. In mid-September, the Russian and American crew aboard the International Space Station viewed Mt. Elbrus’s glaciated landscape as part of a study by Russian glaciologists. Elbrus is located west of the recent glacier slide on Mt. Kazbek, another giant peak in the Caucasus Mountains.
The red and orange tones of autumn had faded to brown in the mountains of New York and Vermont when this true color image was taken on November 8, 2009. The contrast between the green and gold valleys and brown mountains help reveal the unique geography of the region.
This photo-like image paints a picture of the movement of air and weather over the Ural Mountains in southern Russia, with the western mountains covered with snow and the eastern plain dry. The image also illustrates the influence of the mountains on cloud formations.