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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: ISS005 Roll: E Frame: 11189 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS005
Country or Geographic Name: LIBYA
Features: OILWELL, SMOKE, CALANSCIO DUNES
Center Point: Latitude: 28.7 Longitude: 22.7 (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:
CameraCamera Tilt: 23
Camera Focal Length: 800mm
Camera: E4: Kodak DCS760C Electronic Still Camera
Film: 3060E : 3060 x 2036 pixel CCD, RGBG array.
Percentage of Cloud Cover: 10 (0-10)
GMT Date: 20020825 (YYYYMMDD) GMT Time: 061618 (HHMMSS)
Nadir Point Latitude: 28.5, Longitude: 24.2 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)
Nadir to Photo Center Direction: West
Sun Azimuth: 93 (Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point)
Spacecraft Altitude: 214 nautical miles (396 km)
Sun Elevation Angle: 29 (Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point)
Orbit Number: 1484
CaptionsWell-head flare, Calanscio Sand Sea, Libya
A plume of black smoke blowing westward is silhouetted against linear dunes in the great sand sea of northeast Libya. Smoke from flares at remote well heads is commonly seen by astronauts flying over the Sahara Desert. The plume dispersal pattern visible at the left edge of the image may be due to upper-level winds or gravitational settling of heavier particulates.
The regular pattern of linear dunes is generated by two major winds: the dominant north wind (north is towards the top right) determines the orientation of the sand dunes. Gentler easterly winds, as were blowing when this view was taken, make the dunes asymmetric, with a gentle windward (west) slope and an oversteepened downwind slope. Some oversteepened slopes even cast shadows in the early morning light. One mound of sand (top right), due north of the well head, does not fit the pattern of linear dunes. This type is known as a star dune.
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