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Astronaut Photography of Earth - Display Record
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IdentificationMission: ISS012 Roll: E Frame: 15035 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS012
Country or Geographic Name: USA-ILLINOIS
Features: CAIRO, MISSISSIPPI R., OHIO R.
Center Point: Latitude: 37.0 Longitude: -89.2 (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: 17
Camera Focal Length: 400mm
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: 20060112 (YYYYMMDD) GMT Time: 183803 (HHMMSS)
Nadir Point Latitude: 37.2, Longitude: -88.3 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)
Nadir to Photo Center Direction: West
Sun Azimuth: 190 (Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point)
Spacecraft Altitude: 185 nautical miles (343 km)
Sun Elevation Angle: 31 (Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point)
Orbit Number: 867
CaptionsConfluence of Ohio and Mississippi Rivers at Cairo, IL
The Ohio River becomes a tributary of the Mississippi River directly south of Cairo, Illinois, a small city on the spit of land where the rivers converge (at center of this astronaut photograph). Brown, sediment-laden water flowing generally northeast to south from the Ohio River is distinct from the green and relatively sediment-poor water of the Mississippi River (flowing northwest to south). The color of the rivers in this image is reversed from the usual condition of a green Ohio and a brown Mississippi. This suggests that the very high rainfall in December 2005 over the Appalachians and the northeastern United States has led to greater-than-normal amounts of sediment in the rivers and streams of the Ohio River watershed. The distinct boundary between the two riverís waters indicates that little to no mixing occurs even 5-6 kilometers (3-4 miles) downstream.
Cairo became a prosperous port following the Civil War due to increased riverboat and railroad commerce. Small features visible in the image on the Ohio are river barges, which indicate the continued importance of Cairo as a transport hub. Flooding of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers presents a continual danger to the city; this danger is lessened by the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway that begins directly to the south of the river confluence. During major flood events, the floodway lessens flood stages upstream (such as at Cairo) and adjacent to the floodway. Part of the extensive levee system associated with flood control of the Mississippi River is visible in the image. Barlow Bottoms (image right), located in adjacent Kentucky, is a wetland bird-watching location that is replenished by periodic floods and releases of Ohio River water.
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