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A dust plume arose over China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and on 9 April 2012, began its eastward journey over the Sea of Japan. New research shows that dust accounts for most of the 64 million tons of foreign aerosol imports that arrive in the air over North America each year. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory/Jeff Schmaltz.
In this dramatic false-color satellite image, a vast alluvial fan blossoms across the Taklimakan Desert between the Kunlun and Altun mountains in Xinjiang Province. The left side of the fan in blue is the active side and displays glacial run-off from the Molcha River; the green side on the right consists of older stream paths no longer in use. Image courtesy of USGS.
This false-color, high-resolution satellite photo shows the Turpan Depression, nestled at the foot of China's Bogda Mountains, south of the oasis city of Turpan. A strange mix of salt lakes and sand dunes, this fault-bounded trough is the lowest exposed surface in China. At the center of the basin lies Ayding Lake (bottom left), which is the third lowest exposed point on the earth's surface at -154 m (-505 ft). Image courtesy of USGS.
Soaring, snow-capped peaks and ridges of the eastern Himalaya Mountains create an irregular white-on-red patchwork between major rivers in southwestern China in this enhanced satellite image. The Himalayas are made up of three parallel mountain ranges that together extend more than 2,900 km (1,800 mi) and are the youngest mountain range on the planet. Some of the world's major rivers rise in these mountains and their combined drainage basin is home to almost half of the world's entire population. Image courtesy of USGS.
The Ming Dynasty Tombs are located some 50 km (30 mi) north of Beijing. The archway leading to the Sacred Way and the tombs dates to 1540; it is the earliest and largest stone archway in China.
Approaching the Great Hall of the People in Tiananmen Square in Beijing. The building was constructed in 1959; it is the home of the National People's Congress.
In front of the Great Hall of the People in Tiananmen Square in Beijing.
The Monument to the People's Heroes in Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Constructed in 1958, it commemorates those who fought in revolutions from 1840 to 1949.
The Mao Zedong Mausoleum (or Chairman Mao Memorial Hall) was constructed in 1977 on Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Mao's body lies in a crystal casket for public viewing.
Revolutionary monument in front of Chairman Mao Zedong Mausoleum on Tiananmen Square.
The National Museum of China on Tiananmen Square in Beijing.  Completed in 1959, the museum's mission is to educate about the arts and history of China.
The Tiananmen or Gate of Heavenly Peace is a monumental gate in the center of Beijing; it is frequently used as a national symbol of China. First built in 1420, Tiananmen was the entrance to the Imperial City, within which the Forbidden City is located.
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