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Photographing the Earth from the International Space Station

Astronaut Photography of Earth - Display Record

ISS011-E-9680

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File NameFile Size (bytes)WidthHeightAnnotatedCroppedPurposeComments
View ISS011-E-9680.JPG 67686639435 No No
View ISS011-E-9680.JPG 292167357540 Yes Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site
View ISS011-E-9680.JPG 9044001000661 No Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site
View ISS011-E-9680.JPG 91112130322008 No No Not enhancedConverted to JPEG from a raw image

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Electronic Image Data

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Identification

Mission: ISS011 Roll: E Frame: 9680 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS011
Country or Geographic Name: USA-CALIFORNIA
Features: SEARLES LAKE, PLAYA, SLATE RANGE
Center Point: Latitude: 35.5 Longitude: -117.5 (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:

Camera

Camera Tilt: 14
Camera Focal Length: 180mm
Camera: E4: Kodak DCS760C Electronic Still Camera
Film: 3060E : 3060 x 2036 pixel CCD, RGBG array.

Quality

Film Exposure:
Percentage of Cloud Cover: 10 (0-10)

Nadir

GMT Date: 20050627 (YYYYMMDD) GMT Time: 130354 (HHMMSS)
Nadir Point Latitude: 34.8, Longitude: -117.1 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)

Nadir to Photo Center Direction: Northwest
Sun Azimuth: 64 (Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point)
Spacecraft Altitude: 188 nautical miles (348 km)
Sun Elevation Angle: 4 (Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point)
Orbit Number: 1731

Captions

Searles Lake, California

Searles Lake is known for the abundance of rare elements and evaporate minerals, such as trona, hanksite, and halite formed within its sediments. Evaporites are minerals that are left behind when saltwater evaporates. During the Pleistocene Epoch (beginning approximately 2 million years ago), Searles Lake was one of a chain of lakes fed by streamflow from the Sierra Nevada to the west. Lake levels rose and fell dependant on glacial outwash from the Sierra Nevada as climate shifted. Successive layers of sediment were deposited as lake levels fluctuated, preserving an important record of regional climate change. The lakes gradually dried up completely as climatic conditions became hotter and drier (as today), forming a string of playas—enclosed basins with no outlets.

This astronaut photograph depicts the Searles Lake playa (characterized by white surface mineral deposits) bounded by the Argus and Slate Mountains. The width of the playa is approximately 10 kilometers. The center of the image is dominated by mining operations that extract sodium- and potassium-rich minerals (primarily borax and salt) for industrial use. Minerals are primarily found in naturally occurring, subsurface brines, which are pumped to the surface and evaporated to crystallize the minerals. A large evaporation pond (black) is visible in the center of the image. Further processing concentrates the minerals and removes excess water.


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