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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: ISS009 Roll: E Frame: 23808 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS009
Country or Geographic Name: SUDAN
Features: CORAL REEFS, RED SEA
Center Point: Latitude: 18.8 Longitude: 37.5 (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: 53
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: 20040920 (YYYYMMDD) GMT Time: 115926 (HHMMSS)
Nadir Point Latitude: 17.0, Longitude: 33.6 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)
Nadir to Photo Center Direction: East
Sun Azimuth: 249 (Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point)
Spacecraft Altitude: 195 nautical miles (361 km)
Sun Elevation Angle: 52 (Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point)
Orbit Number: 1329
CaptionsFringing Coral Reef, Red Sea
The Sudanese coast of the Red Sea is a well-known destination for diving due to clear water and abundance of coral reefs (or shia’ab in Arabic). Reefs are formed primarily from precipitation of calcium carbonate by corals. (In addition to its commonly used meaning, precipitation can also describe how something dissolved in a solution becomes “undissolved” through chemical or biological processes.) Massive reef structures are built over thousands of years of succeeding generations of coral. In the Red Sea, fringing reefs form on shallow shelves of less than 50 meters depth along the coastline. This astronaut photograph illustrates the intricate morphology of the reef system located along the coast between Port Sudan to the northwest and the Tokar River delta to the southeast.
Close to shore, fringing reefs border the coastline. Farther offshore grows a larger, more complicated barrier reef structure. Different parts of the reef structure show up as variable shades of light blue. Deeper water channels (darker blue) define the boundaries for individual reefs within the greater barrier reef system. Such a complex pattern of reefs may translate into greater ecosystem diversity because of the wide variety of local reef environments.
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Recommended Citation: Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA-Johnson Space Center. "The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth." .