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The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth
(NASA Crew Earth Observations)
Astronaut Photography of Earth - Display Record
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IdentificationMission: ISS017 Roll: E Frame: 16521 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS017
Country or Geographic Name: AUSTRALIA-Q
Features: FRASER ISLAND, SANDY CAPE, DUNES
Center Point Latitude: -24.7 Center Point Longitude: 153.2 (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: 29
Camera Focal Length: 800mm
Camera: N2: Nikon D2Xs
Film: 4288E : 4288 x 2848 pixel CMOS sensor, RGBG imager color filter.
Percentage of Cloud Cover: 10 (0-10)
NadirGMT Date: 20080915 (YYYYMMDD) GMT Time: 213325 (HHMMSS)
Nadir Point Latitude: -25.6, Longitude: 154.7 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)
Nadir to Photo Center Direction: Northwest
Sun Azimuth: 74 (Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point)
Spacecraft Altitude: 193 nautical miles (357 km)
Sun Elevation Angle: 25 (Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point)
Orbit Number: 280
CaptionsSandy Cape, Fraser Island, Australia
Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island, is located along the coastline of Queensland, Australia, and it includes Great Sandy National Park. The island was designated a World Heritage site in 1992, in part due to its outstanding preservation of geological processes related to sand dune formation. The island’s dune fields preserve a record of sand deposition and movement related to sea level rise and fall extending back over 700,000 years. In addition to sand dunes, the island also preserves an interesting range of vegetation—including vine rainforest, stands of eucalpyt trees, and mangroves—and diverse animals, including crabs, parrots, sugar gliders, and flying foxes.
This astronaut photograph highlights the northernmost portion of the island, known as Sandy Cape. Active white sand dunes contrast with dark green vegetation that anchors older dune sets. Irregular patches of sand dunes surrounded by vegetation are known as sand blows (or blowouts), formed when the vegetation cover is disturbed by wind, fire, or human activities. The exposed underlaying sand can then move and form new dunes, sometimes at rates of up to 1 meter/year. Coastal sand dune fields, such as the one located along the eastern side of Sandy Cape (center), will remain active until anchored by vegetation, or until no more sand is available to form new dunes.
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