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The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth
(NASA Crew Earth Observations)
Astronaut Photography of Earth - Display Record
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IdentificationMission: ISS003 Roll: E Frame: 6152 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS003
Country or Geographic Name: AURORA
Features: AURORA BOREALIS
Center Point: Latitude: Longitude: (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)
Stereo: (Yes indicates there is an adjacent picture of the same area)
ONC Map ID: JNC Map ID:
Camera Focal Length: 50mm
Camera: E2: Kodak DCS460 Electronic Still Camera
Film: 3060E : 3060 x 2036 pixel CCD, RGBG array.
Percentage of Cloud Cover: (0-10)
GMT Date: 20011004 (YYYYMMDD) GMT Time: 002132 (HHMMSS)
Nadir Point Latitude: 50.6, Longitude: -43.7 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)
Nadir to Photo Center Direction:
Sun Azimuth: 315 (Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point)
Spacecraft Altitude: 203 nautical miles (376 km)
Sun Elevation Angle: -35 (Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point)
Orbit Number: 408
CaptionsAs geomagnetic storms cause beautiful displays of aurora across the United States, astronauts onboard the International Space Station also have the opportunity to take a look. Green colors of the aurora are dominant in this image captured by a digital still camera on October 4, 2001. Auroras are caused when high-energy electrons pour down from the Earth’s magnetosphere and collide with atoms. Green aurora occurs from about 100 km to 250 km altitude and is caused by the emission of 5577 Angstrom wavelength light from oxygen atoms. The light is emitted when the atoms return to their original unexcited state.
At times of peaks in solar activity, there are more geomagnetic storms and this increases the auroral activity viewed on Earth and by astronauts from orbit. By using a digital camera with a long exposure time, astronauts can capture a part of the light from the multicolored displays they observe, and downlink those images to Earth.
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This service is provided by the International Space Station program and the JSC Astromaterials Research & Exploration Science Directorate.
Recommended Citation: Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA-Johnson Space Center. "The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth." .