A remarkably detailed satellite image of Egypt vividly displays the winding Nile River and its distinctive delta. The Sinai peninsula and Red Sea are on the right. Photo courtesy of NASA.
One of the fascinating aspects of viewing Earth at night is how well the lights show the distribution of people. In this view of Egypt, we see a population almost completely concentrated along the Nile Valley, just a small percentage of the country's land area. The Nile River and its delta look like a brilliant, long-stemmed flower in this astronaut photograph of the southeastern Mediterranean Sea. The Cairo metropolitan area forms a particularly bright base of the flower. The smaller cities and towns within the Nile Delta tend to be hard to see amidst the dense agricultural vegetation during the day. However, these settled areas and the connecting roads between them become clearly visible at night. Likewise, infrastructure and urbanized regions along the Nile River also become apparent. Another brightly lit region is visible along the eastern coastline of the Mediterranean, the Tel-Aviv metropolitan area in Israel (image right). To the east of Tel-Aviv lies Amman, Jordan. The two major water bodies that define the western and eastern coastlines of the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Suez and the Gulf of Aqaba, are outlined by lights along their coastlines (image lower right). The city lights of Paphos, Limassol, Larnaca, and Nicosia are visible on the island of Cyprus (image top). Scattered blue-grey clouds cover the Mediterranean Sea and the Sinai, while much of northeastern Africa is cloud-free. The thin yellow-brown band tracing the Earth's curvature at image top is airglow, a faint band of light emission that results from the interaction of atmospheric atoms and molecules with solar radiation at approximately 100 km (60 mi) altitude. Photo courtesy of NASA.
The Nile Delta of Egypt, irrigated by the Nile River and its many distributaries, is some of the richest farm land in the world and home to over half of Egypt's population. The capital city of Cairo lies at the apex of the delta in the middle of the scene. Across the river from Cairo one can see the three large pyramids and sphinx at Giza. The Suez Canal is just to the right of the delta; the Mediterranean Sea is at the top of the view. Click on photo for higher resolution. Image courtesy of NASA.
The Nile Delta of Egypt, irrigated by the Nile River and its many distributaries, is some of the richest farm land in the world and home to over half of Egypt's population. The capital city of Cairo lies at the apex of the delta in the lower left. To the west of the river and near the delta apex one can see the three large pyramids and sphinx at Giza. The Suez Canal is just to the right of the delta; the rear of the space shuttle appears in the lower portion of the view. Click on photo for higher resolution. Image courtesy of NASA.
The Nile River in Cairo at dusk.
A view of Cairo from the Nile with the Cairo Tower, a free standing TV tower on Gezira Island, in the foreground.
The Sultan Hassan and Ar-Rifai Mosques as seen from the Citadel with Cairo in the background. The Sultan Hassan Mosque and Madrasah (religious school) is a masterpiece of Mamluk architecture that was begun in 1356 and completed in 1363. It contains the burial chamber of the Sultan's two sons and is featured on the Egyptian hundred-pound note. The Ar-Rifai Mosque was built between 1869 and 1912. It houses the tomb of King Farouk, Egypt's last reigning monarch, and other members of the Egyptian royal family, as well as the tomb of the last shah of Iran.
Cruising through Cairo on the Nile. The 187 m high Cairo Tower (concrete TV tower) on the far right is 48 m higher than the Great Pyramid at Giza.
The Mosque of Mohamed Ali in Cairo is situated on the most visible site in the city.
Built in the style of the Ottomans, the Mosque of Muhammad Ali was erected by its eponymous benefactor between 1830 and 1848 in memory of Tusun Pasha, Muhammad's eldest son who died in 1816. The mosque is located in the Citadel of Cairo; Muhammad Ali is buried in the mosque's courtyard.
Octagonal ablution fountain in the courtyard of the Muhammad Ali Mosque in Cairo.
Sailboats on the Nile in Cairo.
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