In places where concentrations of the precious metal have been discovered, mining operations are large enough to be seen from space.
Gold has been found on every continent except Antarctica, but the lustrous yellow metal is not exactly ubiquitous. The element (Au on the periodic table) is actually quite rare, accounting for just one out of every billion atoms in Earth’s crust. But in places such as the Central Aldan ore district in the Russian Far East—where concentrations of the precious metal have been discovered—mining operations are large enough to be seen from space.
On September 11, 2019, the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 acquired this natural-color image showing part of the ore district in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). The image is centered about 25 kilometers (15 miles) northwest of the gold-mining town of Aldan, and about 450 kilometers southwest of the regional capital city, Yakutsk.
Central Aldan is one of Russia’s largest gold ore districts, with the mineral occurring in numerous deposits, or “lodes,” in the fractured rock.
Continue reading at NASA Earth Observatory
Image via NASA Earth Observatory