Share this article:
In northern Chile, a short drive south from the local capital of San Pedro, you'll find one of the world’s most alluring treasures: the Atacama Salt Flats. One of the driest areas in the world — so dry it hardly sees more than 1 mm of rainfall in an entire year — it’s also one of the most conflicted, due its history and unforgiving environment.
The Andes mountains borders it on the east while to the west lies a secondary mountain range, Cordillera de Domeyko. There are also volcanoes, including the Aguas Calientes, Acamarachi and the Lincancabur. The salt flats were the site (and much of the cause) of the War of the Pacific, also called the Saltpeter War. During this time, Chile obtained most of the valuable mineral-rich territory desired by Bolivia and Peru, which went on to shape much of Bolivia’s economic identity and wedged Chile between the borders of Argentina, Bolivia and Peru.
Still, there is astounding beauty in this remote desert. The Valle de Luna, or Moon Valley, lives up to its name with an extraterrestrial appearance that has inspired onlookers for centuries. And while you may be tempted to look downward, the night skies are as wondrous as the sand thanks to the absence of light pollution, arid climate and high altitude. No wonder the European Southern Observatory maintains two astronomical bases here: Paranal Observatory and La Silla Observatory.
While stress can become a problem for any healthy adult, medical experts say stress is particularly dangerous for people who suffer from heart disease.
Much cooler and less humid air is forecast to make its way into the Deep South, including Michael-slammed areas of Florida and Georgia this weekend, before the potential for heavy rain later next week.
Despite Tropical Rainstorm Tara weakening, Mexico remains on high alert as a new tropical threat is expected to develop in the next 24 to 48 hours.
Peak oyster season is right around the corner, starting in November, however the recent destruction of Hurricane Michael is impacting aquaculture farms in Florida.
Cloud-free conditions will allow much of the United States to see this weekend’s Orionid meteor shower, the first major shower of the fall.
The upcoming winter across Europe will feature damaging windstorms, flooding rainfall and unseasonable warmth.
Areas of Texas that have been inundated with flooding downpours since last week will face more heavy rainfall before a needed reprieve this weekend.
A dangerous flooding situation unfolded in south-central Texas Tuesday morning near the town of Llano, as heavy rain exacerbated ongoing river flooding, prompting evacuations and a bridge collapse.