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The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth
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Astronaut Photography of Earth - Display Record
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IdentificationMission: ISS013 Roll: E Frame: 77351 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS013
Country or Geographic Name: RUSSIAN FEDERATION
Features: W. VOLGA R. DELTA, SED. PLUMES
Center Point Latitude: 45.5 Center Point Longitude: 47.5 (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: High Oblique
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)
NadirGMT Date: 20060905 (YYYYMMDD) GMT Time: 104539 (HHMMSS)
Nadir Point Latitude: 48.8, Longitude: 52.1 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)
Nadir to Photo Center Direction: Southwest
Sun Azimuth: 226 (Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point)
Spacecraft Altitude: 184 nautical miles (341 km)
Sun Elevation Angle: 39 (Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point)
Orbit Number: 582
CaptionsVolga River Delta
The Volga River drains much of western Russia’s industrial region as it travels southward to empty into the Caspian Sea. Over thousands of years, the river has built a tremendous delta that forms the northwestern shoreline of the Caspian Sea. The delta channels provide transportation between the heartland of Russia and the oil-rich Caspian Sea. The Volga’s extensive distributaries (branches to the sea) harbor habitat and rich fishing grounds for Russia’s famous beluga sturgeon, the source of beluga caviar. The delta’s wetlands, parts of which are designated as the Astrakhanskiy Biosphere Reserve, are important stopping points and breeding grounds for migrating water birds.
This detailed astronaut photograph zooms in on a shipping channel in the western part of the delta. The straight channel is periodically dredged, and the dredged material is piled along the edge of the channel in mounds. Surrounding wetlands are partially inundated. Flood waters with muddy sediment stream from the distributaries along the channel, producing long streamers. This image was taken a few days after heavy rains in early September 2006 flooded parts of Russia to the north, and it captures the flood waters emptying into the Caspian Sea. Since 1978, the Caspian Sea level has risen over 2 meters (a little over 6 feet), submerging valuable wetland habitats, flooding coastlines, agricultural land, and industrial infrastructure. It has become a struggle for the nations surrounding the Caspian to maintain channels and coastal developments and to preserve natural marine and land habitats. Shallow coastlines like the Volga delta are particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels.
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