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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: 5696 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS009
Country or Geographic Name: BOLIVIA
Features: LAKE TITICACA, PLANKTON BLOOM
Center Point: Latitude: -16.0 Longitude: -68.5 (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: 41
Camera Focal Length: 180mm
Camera: E4: Kodak DCS760C Electronic Still Camera
Film: 3060E : 3060 x 2036 pixel CCD, RGBG array.
Percentage of Cloud Cover: 25 (11-25)
GMT Date: 20040505 (YYYYMMDD) GMT Time: 145635 (HHMMSS)
Nadir Point Latitude: -17.2, Longitude: -71.1 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)
Nadir to Photo Center Direction: East
Sun Azimuth: 39 (Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point)
Spacecraft Altitude: 197 nautical miles (365 km)
Sun Elevation Angle: 48 (Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point)
Orbit Number: 3163
CaptionsPlankton Bloom in Lake Titicaca:
At an average elevation of 3,812 meters (12,507 feet), Lake Titicaca is one of the highest lakes in the world. The lake is positioned between two major ranges of the Andes Mountain chain and has very limited drainage. Because of the lack of drainage, the lake has accumulated sediments over the past 25,000 years. These sediment records are invaluable for paleoclimate research. The water level of the lake is still dependant on climate today and varies significantly in El Niño years.
The limited outflow of the lake allows for the accumulation of nutrients derived primarily from surrounding communities’ agricultural and sewage waste. The increased nutrient levels can lead to plankton blooms. This astronaut photograph, taken from the International Space Station, captures two such blooms along the eastern shoreline of the lake. Plankton blooms are not apparent in earlier astronaut photographs of Lake Titicaca, suggesting that there may also be a seasonal component to their appearance (see, for example, this earlier astronaut photograph of Lake Titicaca).
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