Holiday Calendar: Mystery in the Gobi Desert – GeoEye High Resolution Imagery Featured on MSNBC Photoblog

What are those strange white patterns in China’s Gobi Desert? For weeks, experts have puzzled over the crazy lines that show up in satellite images.

Some of the theories have taken wild turns: Maybe they’re messages directed at Earth-observing extraterrestrials, or part of a UFO development program, or the remains of ancient cities. But the leading theory is that these patterns serve a variety of purposes for the Chinese military, including calibrating satellite imaging systems and testing radar avoidance techniques. There have also been claims that these are “fractal antennas” to shield underground weapons facilities from ground-penetrating radar.

This particular crazy-quilt pattern was picked up on July 27 from an altitude of 423 miles by the IKONOS satellite, one of the spacecraft in a commercial Earth-imaging constellation operated by GeoEye. The picture is today’s offering from the Cosmic Log Space Advent Calendar, which features views of Earth from space every day until Christmas…

An image captured by GeoEye‘s IKONOS commercial satellite shows a weird pattern of white lines in China’s Gobi Desert on July 27.

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About webmastergeoeye

GeoEye is a leading source of geospatial information and insight for decision makers and analysts who need a clear understanding of our changing world to protect lives, manage risk and optimize resources. Each day, organizations in defense and intelligence, public safety, critical infrastructure, energy, and online media rely on GeoEye’s imagery, tools and expertise to support important missions around the globe. Widely recognized as a pioneer in high-resolution satellite imagery, GeoEye has evolved into a complete provider of geospatial intelligence solutions. GeoEye’s ability to collect, process and analyze massive amounts of geospatial data allows our customers to quickly see precise changes on the ground and anticipate where events may occur in the future. GeoEye is a public company listed on NASDAQ as GEOY and is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia, with more than 700 employees worldwide. View all posts by webmastergeoeye

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