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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: ISS018 Roll: E Frame: 11127 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS018
Country or Geographic Name: USA-COLORADO
Features: RAVEN RIDGE, MORMON GAP
Center Point Latitude: 40.1 Center Point Longitude: -109.0 (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: 22
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: 20081206 (YYYYMMDD) GMT Time: 191533 (HHMMSS)
Nadir Point Latitude: 41.3, Longitude: -109.3 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)
Nadir to Photo Center Direction: South
Sun Azimuth: 182 (Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point)
Spacecraft Altitude: 186 nautical miles (344 km)
Sun Elevation Angle: 26 (Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point)
Orbit Number: 1569
CaptionsRaven Ridge, Colorado
An important way to unravel the Earth’s history is to find and study old rocks that have been turned up and exposed on the surface through the Earth’s tectonic activity. At Raven Ridge (image center, left to right), which extends across the Colorado-Utah border, geologists can walk across successive layers of rock deposited approximately 54-50 million years ago during the Eocene Epoch—approximately 10–15 million years after the dinosaurs went extinct.
The sedimentary layers at Raven Ridge were originally deposited as flat-lying beds in an ancient lake known as Paleolake Uinta, and later they were tilted by tectonic forces. The tilted beds are visible in this astronaut photograph as hard, erosion-resistant ridges of tan, buff, and white rocks (freshwater limestones), with less resistant layers (mudstones and shales) forming valleys between ridges.
A prominent topographic break in the ridgeline, Mormon Gap, provides road access across the ridge. To the northwest of the gap, dark brown alluvial deposits (sand and gravel carried by moving water) extend southward from the crest of the ridge. These deposits likely cover a pediment—a flat, sloping surface of eroded bedrock that extends outward from a mountain front.
The rocks and fossils at Raven Ridge indicate that during the time when they were created, the area was covered in tropical forests that were filled with the early ancestors of modern primates, horses, and deer (among other animals).
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Recommended Citation: Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA-Johnson Space Center. "The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth." .