Dec. 26 (UPI) -- From a vantage of 440 miles above Earth's surface and painted in infrared, Morocco's Anti-Atlas Mountains, also known as the Lesser Atlas or Little Atlas, look like a geode streaked with tie-die swirls.
In 2007, NASA's Terra satellite photographed the Anti-Atlas Mountains, which stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Moroccan city of Tafilalt, as it passed overhead. On Thursday, NASA featured the portrait online.
The Anti-Atlas Mountains, part of the broader Atlas Mountain Range, were formed some 80 million years ago when the African and Eurasian tectonic plates smashed into each other.
"This collision destroyed the Tethys Ocean," NASA wrote. "The limestone, sandstone, claystone and gypsum layers that formed the ocean bed were folded and crumpled to create the Anti-Atlas Mountains. In this image of southwest Morocco, visible, near infrared and short wavelength infrared bands are combined to dramatically highlight the different rock types, and illustrate the complex folding."
Launched in December of 1999, the Terra satellite turned 20 years old just last week. The flagship of NASA's Earth Observing System occupies a sun-synchronous orbit around the Earth, capturing high-resolution images of clouds, ice, water and land in 14 different multi-spectral bands.
Terra was engineered to last six years and 30,000 orbits. Twenty years later, Terra is still imaging Earth's many extraordinary features.