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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: ISS017 Roll: E Frame: 5351 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS017
Country or Geographic Name: USA-UTAH
Features: ZION CANYON, INCISED PLATEAU
Center Point: Latitude: 37.2 Longitude: -112.9 (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: 9
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)
GMT Date: 20080426 (YYYYMMDD) GMT Time: 212448 (HHMMSS)
Nadir Point Latitude: 37.2, Longitude: -112.4 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)
Nadir to Photo Center Direction: West
Sun Azimuth: 236 (Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point)
Spacecraft Altitude: 180 nautical miles (333 km)
Sun Elevation Angle: 55 (Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point)
Orbit Number: 2043
CaptionsZion National Park, Utah
Zion National Park is located in southwestern Utah, along the western margin of the Colorado Plateau. The park was established in 1919, after roadway improvements in southwestern Utah allowed access to the preceding Mukuntuweap National Monument (1909), located in Zion Canyon. The towering cliffs bounding the North Fork of the Virgin River are formed mainly of tan to light pink Navajo Sandstone, the remains of a sand dune sea that covered the area during the early Mesozoic Era, nearly 200 million years ago. At that point in its history, the Zion region would have looked much like the present-day Sahara Desert.
Younger, brown rock that caps the Navajo Sandstone (image right) records how the environment fluctuated between shallow seas and deserts. This high-resolution astronaut photograph illustrates the incised nature of the bedrock in the park. The long linear features are fractures in the rock-joints--caused by tectonic stresses. The mainly north-northwest trending joints channel water runoff, and they appear to be the main factor that determined the present canyon network.
While the park is perhaps best experienced by hiking, backpacking, or biking, Utah State Route 9 (SR-9) provides automobile access up the side of Zion Canyon. The road is visible in the astronaut photograph as a thin brown line climbing the south wall of the canyon (lower left; more obvious in the large image). Access to the rest of the park is provided by a shuttle bus system instituted in 2000 to reduce vehicle noise, improve air quality, and improve wildlife habitat.
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Recommended Citation: Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA-Johnson Space Center. "The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth." .