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(NASA Crew Earth Observations)

Photographing the Earth from the International Space Station

Astronaut Photography of Earth - Display Record


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File NameFile Size (bytes)WidthHeightAnnotatedCroppedPurposeComments
View ISS014-E-14618.JPG 79360639435 No No
View ISS014-E-14618.JPG 234453540295 Yes Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site
View ISS014-E-14618.JPG 7787341000547 No Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site
View ISS014-E-14618.JPG 139302530322064 No No

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Mission: ISS014 Roll: E Frame: 14618 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS014
Country or Geographic Name: VENEZUELA
Center Point: Latitude: 10.7 Longitude: -71.6 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)

Stereo: (Yes indicates there is an adjacent picture of the same area)


Camera Tilt: 15
Camera Focal Length: 400mm
Camera: E4: Kodak DCS760C Electronic Still Camera
Film: 3060E : 3060 x 2036 pixel CCD, RGBG array.


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


GMT Date: 20070223 (YYYYMMDD) GMT Time: 170855 (HHMMSS)
Nadir Point Latitude: 11.3, Longitude: -71.0 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)

Nadir to Photo Center Direction: Southwest
Sun Azimuth: 188 (Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point)
Spacecraft Altitude: 185 nautical miles (343 km)
Sun Elevation Angle: 69 (Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point)
Orbit Number: 3285


Maracaibo City and Oil Slick, Venezuela:
This astronaut photograph depicts the narrow (6-kilometer-wide) strait between Lake Maracaibo to the south and the Gulf of Venezuela to the north. This brackish lake in northern Venezuela is the largest in South America. The lake and its small basin sit on top of a vast reservoir of buried oil deposits, first tapped in 1914. Venezuela is now the world’s fifth largest oil producer. The narrow strait has been deepened to allow ocean-going vessels access to the lake for oil transport.

Shipping is one of the main sources of pollution in the lake; pollution enters the lake when when ships dump ballast and other waste. An oil slick, likely related to bilge pumping, can be seen as a bright streak northeast of El Triunfo in this image from February 23, 2007. Other sources of pollution to the lake include underwater oil pipeline leakage, untreated municipal and industrial waste from coastal cities, and runoff of chemicals from surrounding farm land. Deepening the narrow channel for shipping has also allowed saltwater intrusion into the lake, negatively affecting lake life.

Since the discovery of oil, cities like Maracaibo have sprung up along the northwestern coastline of the lake. With satellite cities such as San Luis and El Triunfo (visible in this view), greater Maracaibo has a population of about 2.5 million. Just outside the lower margin of the picture, a major bridge spans the narrows pictured here, connecting cities such as Altagracia (top right) to Maracaibo.

    Related images
  1. South-looking image of the entire lake in 1985
  2. Oil slicks on Lake Maracaibo in 2003
  3. Duckweed infestation on Lake Maracaibo during 2004 (astronaut photo)
  4. Lake-wide view of 2004 duckweed invasion (satellite image)

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