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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: 28898 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS018
Country or Geographic Name: MEXICO
Features: POPOCATEPETL VOLCANO, SUMMIT CRATER
Center Point: Latitude: 19.0 Longitude: -98.6 (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)
GMT Date: 20090207 (YYYYMMDD) GMT Time: 150524 (HHMMSS)
Nadir Point Latitude: 19.7, Longitude: -97.5 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)
Nadir to Photo Center Direction: Southwest
Sun Azimuth: 119 (Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point)
Spacecraft Altitude: 189 nautical miles (350 km)
Sun Elevation Angle: 26 (Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point)
Orbit Number: 2557
CaptionsSummit of Popocatepetl Volcano, Mexico
Volcan Popocatepetl, a large stratovolcano located approximately 70 kilometers southeast of Mexico City, is considered by many volcanologists to be “the planet’s riskiest volcano.” The volcano warrants this distinction because of how close it is to one of the most densely populated megacities on Earth: near 23 million people lived in Mexico City in 2009. The variety of potential volcanic hazards at Popocatepetl is also considerable, including explosive eruptions of ash, pyroclastic flows (hot, fluid avalanches of rock fragments and gas), and debris avalanches.
This detailed astronaut photograph of the summit crater of Popocatepetl (image center) also highlights Ventorillo and Noroccidental Glaciers. Together with the ice on nearby Iztaccíhuatl Volcano and Pico de Orizaba (Mexico’s highest peak and the highest volcano in North America), Popocatepetl’s glaciers are the only mountain glaciers in tropical North America. The glaciers create yet another volcanic hazard: dangerous mudflows, or lahars, if the ice were to melt during an eruption. At the time this image was taken, steam and ash plumes were observed at the volcano. A faint white steam plume is visible against gray ash deposits on the eastern and southern flanks of the volcano.
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Recommended Citation: Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA-Johnson Space Center. "The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth." .