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Photographing the Earth from the International Space Station

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File NameFile Size (bytes)WidthHeightAnnotatedCroppedPurposeComments
View ISS017-E-9777.JPG 75337640437 No No
View ISS017-E-9777.JPG 205613540384 Yes Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site
View ISS017-E-9777.JPG 5873261000711 No Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site
View ISS017-E-9777.JPG 64313130722098 No No

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Mission: ISS017 Roll: E Frame: 9777 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS017
Country or Geographic Name: SICILY
Center Point: Latitude: 38.5 Longitude: 14.9 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)

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


Camera Tilt: 17
Camera Focal Length: 400mm
Camera: N2: Nikon D2Xs
Film: 4288E : 4288 x 2848 pixel CMOS sensor, RGBG imager color filter.


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


GMT Date: 20080624 (YYYYMMDD) GMT Time: 125043 (HHMMSS)
Nadir Point Latitude: 37.7, Longitude: 15.4 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)

Nadir to Photo Center Direction: Northwest
Sun Azimuth: 247 (Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point)
Spacecraft Altitude: 187 nautical miles (346 km)
Sun Elevation Angle: 63 (Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point)
Orbit Number: 2968


Aeolian Islands, Italy

The Aeolian Islands formed from a chain of volcanoes in the Tyrrhenian Sea north of the island of Sicily. Geologists and volcanologists have studied the islands since the eighteenth century, and the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared them a World Heritage Site in 2000 because of their value to the study of volcanic processes. Two types of volcanic eruption, Vulcanian and Strombolian, were defined based on study and observation of geologic processes on the islands of Vulcano (image right) and Stromboli (not shown).

This detailed astronaut photograph features Lipari Island and the northern portion of Vulcano Island. Tan, speckled areas on both islands are urban areas and towns. Lipari is the largest of the Aeolian Islands, and it is a popular tourist destination due to its rugged volcanic topography and beaches (several boat wakes are visible around the islands). White pumice beaches and caves are located along the northern and northeastern coastlines of Lipari; black sand beaches derived from lava flows can also be found on the island. The most recent eruptive activity on Lipari took place from approximately AD 580–729.

Vulcano Island is comprised of two calderas—large craters formed when explosive eruptions empty a volcano’s magma chamber, and the overlying material collapses into the resulting void. Caldera della Fossa occupies the north, and Caldera del Piano occupies the south. The volcanic cone of La Fossa, located within the Caldera della Fossa, has been the site of much of the historical eruptive activity on the island. The last eruption on Vulcano Island took place during 1898–1900.

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