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Photographing the Earth from the International Space Station

Astronaut Photography of Earth - Display Record

ISS012-E-18774

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File NameFile Size (bytes)WidthHeightAnnotatedCroppedPurposeComments
View ISS012-E-18774.JPG 95059639435 No No
View ISS012-E-18774.JPG 13189815201008 No No Not enhancedConverted to JPEG from a raw image
View ISS012-E-18774.JPG 366476540363 Yes Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site
View ISS012-E-18774.JPG 11432101000673 No Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site

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Electronic Image Data

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Identification

Mission: ISS012 Roll: E Frame: 18774 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS012
Country or Geographic Name: IRAN
Features: ZAGROS MTS., SALT DOME
Center Point: Latitude: 28.0 Longitude: 51.5 (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: 52
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: 20060228 (YYYYMMDD) GMT Time: 132053 (HHMMSS)
Nadir Point Latitude: 24.8, Longitude: 49.1 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)

Nadir to Photo Center Direction: Northeast
Sun Azimuth: 252 (Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point)
Spacecraft Altitude: 186 nautical miles (344 km)
Sun Elevation Angle: 18 (Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point)
Orbit Number: 1604

Captions

Salt Dome in the Zagros Mountains, Iran

The Zagros Mountains in southwestern Iran present an impressive landscape of long linear ridges and valleys. Formed by collision of the Eurasian and Arabian tectonic plates, the ridges and valleys extend hundreds of kilometers. Stresses induced in the Earth’s crust by the collision caused extensive folding of the preexisting layered sedimentary rocks. Subsequent erosion removed softer rocks, such as mudstone (rock formed by consolidated mud) and siltstone (a slightly coarser-grained mudstone) while leaving harder rocks, such as limestone (calcium-rich rock consisting of the remains of marine organisms) and dolomite (rocks similar to limestone containing calcium and magnesium). This differential erosion formed the linear ridges of the Zagros Mountains. The depositional environment and tectonic history of the rocks were conducive to the formation and trapping of petroleum, and the Zagros region is an important part of Persian Gulf production.

This astronaut photograph of the southwestern edge of the Zagros mountain belt includes another common feature of the region—a salt dome (Kuh-e-Namak or “mountain of salt” in Farsi). Thick layers of minerals such as halite (common table salt) typically accumulate in closed basins during alternating wet and dry climatic conditions. Over geologic time, these layers of salt are buried under younger layers of rock. The pressure from overlying rock layers causes the lower-density salt to flow upwards, bending the overlying rock layers and creating a dome-like structure. Erosion has spectacularly revealed the uplifted tan and brown rock layers surrounding the white Kuh-e-Namak to the northwest and southeast (center of image). Radial drainage patterns indicate another salt dome is located to the southwest (image left center). If the rising plug of salt (called a salt diapir) breaches the surface, it can become a flowing salt glacier. Salt domes are an important target for oil exploration, as the impermeable salt frequently traps petroleum beneath other rock layers.


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