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This image captures almost all of Quinghai, the largest lake in China. This lake has a surface elevation of 10,450 feet; partially filling one of the eastern-most closed drainage basins of Central Asia. It is located in the Quinghai Province on the Quinghai Tibetan Plateau. Small market towns, including Tianjun and Ganga, dot the outskirts of Quinghai Lake. It is here, in one of the most ethnically diverse areas of China, that Tibetan nomads cash in their livestock.
On the shores of the lake, the Bar-headed Goose, Lesser Sandplover and Great Black-headed and Brown-headed Gulls breed. The rare Black-necked Crane and the endangered Pallas's Fish-Eagle can also be found there. Quinghai Lake is used by scientists for telescope and sensor work because it has the advantage of a high altitude that minimizes any water vapor absorption.
This image was taken from the Space Shuttle on February 17, 2000.
EarthKAM was formerly known as KidSat. To see images of KidSat, see http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/KidSat .