STS091-714-056 Lake Sarygamysh, Turkmenistan June 1998
Looking south across Lake Sarygamysh (dark feature, bottom center), a broad expanse of desert landscape is visible. Lake Sarygamysh, situated in north central Turkmenistan, is geographically located midway between the Caspian Sea and the Aral Sea. This desert, known as the Garagum Desert, extends from the Ust-Urt Plateau (north of the lake) to the Kopet-Dag Mountains (upper right corner) in the south of Turkmenistan and from the Amu Darya River in the east and almost reaching the Caspian Sea to the west of the desert. The desert is characterized by relatively flat terrain with large areas of sand dunes and sand ridges (visible near center of the picture). The darker feature south of the lake (right middle) is a grassy elevated plain. The white areas immediately southwest of the lake (lower right corner) are clouds. Although the lake is filled with water at the time this photograph was acquired, some maps indicate that the lake is, at least partially, a dry lakebed from time to time. Approximately the northwest quarter of the lake belongs to the country of Uzbekistan.

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