Israel’s largest freshwater lake, Lake Tiberias, is also known as
the Sea of Tiberias, Lake of Gennesaret, Lake Kinneret, and the Sea of
Galilee. The lake measures just more than 21 kilometers (13 miles)
north-south, and it is only 43 meters (141 feet) deep. The lake is fed
partly by underground springs related to the Jordan sector of the Great Rift Valley,
but most of its water comes from the Jordan River, which enters from
the north. The river’s winding course can be seen draining the south
end of the lake at image bottom.
Angular green and brown field patterns clothe most hillsides in this
arid landscape. Bright roof tops are the hallmark of several villages
in the area. The largest grouping of bright roofs and city blocks
indicates the location of Tiberias (named for the Roman Emperor
Tiberius), visible at image left on the southwestern shore of the lake.
War, earthquakes, and even a flood in 1934 have resulted in heavy
damage to the town in the last 2,000 years, but it is now Israel’s most
popular holiday destination.
Ruins of the famous biblical town of Capernaum, re-discovered in
1838 by the American explorer Edward Robinson, lie just north of
Tiberias on the northwestern shore of Lake Tiberias. Excavations have
revealed a synagogue from the fourth or fifth century, making it one of
the oldest in the world.
Astronaut photograph ISS020-E-31066
was acquired on August 15, 2009, with a Nikon D2Xs digital camera
fitted with an 400 mm lens, and is provided by the ISS Crew Earth
Observations experiment and Image Science & Analysis Laboratory,
Johnson Space Center. The image was taken by the Expedition 20 crew. The image in this article has been cropped and enhanced to improve contrast. Lens artifacts have been removed. The International Space Station Program
supports the laboratory to help astronauts take pictures of Earth that
will be of the greatest value to scientists and the public, and to make
those images freely available on the Internet. Additional images taken
by astronauts and cosmonauts can be viewed at the NASA/JSC Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth. Caption by M. Justin Wilkinson, NASA-JSC.