A vast alluvial fan blossoms across the desolate landscape between the Kunlun and Altun Mountains in western China. The river appears electric blue as it runs out of the mountains at the bottom right corner of the scene and then fans out into scores of intricate, braided channels that disappear into the desert. Dry channels — the river's former paths? — appear as silvery etchings at lower right. This scene was acquired by NASA's Terra satellite on May 2, 2002.