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Earth from Space: Kuwait

In this week’s edition, the Copernicus Sentinel-2
mission takes us over Kuwait in the Middle East. Situated in the northeast of the Arabian Peninsula, Kuwait shares its borders with Iraq to the north and Saudi Arabia to the south. With a total area of around 17 800 sq km, Kuwait is considered one of the smallest countries in the world. At its most distant points, it is around 200 km north to south and 170 km east to west. Kuwait is generally low lying, with the highest point being only 300 m above sea level. The flat, sandy Arabian Desert covers the
majority of Kuwait and appears as a vast expanse of light sand-coloured terrain in this image captured in July 2019. During the dry season, between April and September, the heat in the desert can be severe with daytime temperatures reaching 45°C and, on occasion, over 50°C. Kuwait City, visible jutting out into Kuwait Bay, holds most of the country’s population making Kuwait one of the most urbanised countries
in the world. The various colours of Kuwait Bay come from
a combination of wind and the amount of sunlight reflected off the waters. The Sheikh Jaber Causeway can be seen cutting
across the bay. The bridge is 36 km long making it the fourth largest bridge in the world. Al-Jahra lies around 50 km west of Kuwait City and is visible on the west side of Kuwait Bay. It is the centre of the country’s principal
agricultural region producing primarily fruits and vegetables. The circular shapes to the right of Al-Jahra are an example of the pivot irrigation or
centre-pivot irrigation method, where equipment rotates around a central pivot and crops are watered with sprinklers. Just south of Kuwait City lies the Burgan oil field considered the second largest oil field in the world. It comprises three smaller fields which can be identified as an extensive network
of interlocking roads connecting the individual wellheads. Satellites, such as Copernicus Sentinel-2, allow us to monitor changing places on Earth. Flying 800 km above, satellites take the pulse of our planet by systematically imaging and measuring changes taking place, which is particularly important in regions
that are otherwise difficult to access.

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