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Photographing the Earth from the International Space Station

Astronaut Photography of Earth - Display Record

ISS015-E-27232

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File NameFile Size (bytes)WidthHeightAnnotatedCroppedPurposeComments
View ISS015-E-27232.JPG 110226639435 No No
View ISS015-E-27232.JPG 329321540355 Yes Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site
View ISS015-E-27232.JPG 10094391000658 No Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site
View ISS015-E-27232.JPG 160129730322064 No No

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Electronic Image Data

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Identification

Mission: ISS015 Roll: E Frame: 27232 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS015
Country or Geographic Name: USA-NEBRASKA
Features: NORTH PLATTE RIVER, SAND HILLS
Center Point: Latitude: 41.1 Longitude: -101.5 (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: 53
Camera Focal Length: 70mm
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: 20070905 (YYYYMMDD) GMT Time: 202130 (HHMMSS)
Nadir Point Latitude: 41.0, Longitude: -105.5 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)

Nadir to Photo Center Direction: East
Sun Azimuth: 213 (Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point)
Spacecraft Altitude: 184 nautical miles (341 km)
Sun Elevation Angle: 51 (Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point)
Orbit Number: 2350

Captions

ISS015-E-27232 (5 Sept. 2007) --- North and South Platte Rivers, Nebraska are featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 15 crewmember on the International Space Station. Lake McConaughy and thousands of rectangular tan and green agricultural fields of western Nebraska and northeastern Colorado dominate this oblique scene. The crewmember that shot this view was looking towards the east-northeast, focusing on the thin, green lines of the floodplains of the North and South Platte rivers. These join to form the Platte River near upper right. The Platte river system has determined transportation routes for centuries. Modern Highway 80 follows the North Platte and Highway 76 the South Platte. The presence of transport routes and rivers--as sources of water in a semiarid region--in turn determine the location of towns: the city of North Platte stands out as a light gray area on the floodplain at the confluence of the North and South Platte rivers, as do two smaller towns, Gothenburg and Cozad, further downstream (top right). The distribution of cropland visible in this image is also interesting to geographers. The flattest surfaces are easiest to farm and have the highest areal density of farmed fields. These flat surfaces lie on the river floodplains, but are also present on the higher surrounding surfaces. Between the heavily cultivated land in the river floodplain and the uplands is a strip of rough country that is difficult to farm. As a result, it stands out as a gray strip running parallel to the green croplands of the floodplains. The famous Nebraska Sand Hills, recognizable by their characteristic scalloped texture north of the lake at center, are a hummocky dune field (now vegetated) and are thus also largely devoid of fields. Westernmost Nebraska has been abnormally dry in the last three months--covering the time when this image was taken (Sept. 5). This water deficit can be seen on the image in terms of grass cover health: browner (drier) surfaces occupy the dry regions (lower left), and greener (moister) surfaces appear further east (right).




North and South Platte Rivers, Nebraska:

Lake McConaughy and a tan-and-green patchwork of thousands of agricultural fields dominate this astronaut photo of western Nebraska and northeastern Colorado. The astronaut who shot this view was looking towards the east-northeast, focusing on the thin, green lines of the floodplains of the North and South Platte rivers. These join to form the Platte River near image upper right.

From a geographical perspective, the photograph demonstrates how the Platte River system has determined transportation and settlement patterns for centuries. Modern Highway 80 follows the North Platte, and Highway 76 follows the South Platte. The presence of transport routes and rivers—as sources of water in a semiarid region—in turn determine the location of towns: the city of North Platte stands out as a light gray area on the floodplain at the confluence of the North and South Platte rivers, as do two smaller towns, Gothenburg and Cozad, farther downstream (image top right).

The distribution of cropland visible in this image also reveals interesting geographical information about the characteristics of the land surface. The flattest surfaces are easiest to farm and have the highest density of farmed fields. These flat surfaces lie on the river floodplains, but are also present on the higher surrounding surfaces. Between the heavily cultivated land in the river floodplain and the uplands is a strip of rough country that is difficult to farm. As a result, it stands out as a gray strip running parallel to the green croplands of the floodplains.

The famous Nebraska Sand Hills, recognizable by their characteristic scalloped texture north of Lake McConaughty, are a hummocky sand dune field (now vegetated). According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, westernmost Nebraska was abnormally dry in the last three months—covering the time when this image was taken (September 5, 2007). The impact of the water deficit on grass cover can be seen in the image: dry areas are brown (image lower left), and moister areas farther east are greener (image right).

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