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Photographing the Earth from the International Space Station

Astronaut Photography of Earth - Display Record

ISS018-E-5321

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File NameFile Size (bytes)WidthHeightAnnotatedCroppedPurposeComments
View ISS018-E-5321.JPG 40010640437 No No
View ISS018-E-5321.JPG 239967540340 Yes Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site
View ISS018-E-5321.JPG 34260330722098 No No
View ISS018-E-5321.JPG 7649121000629 No Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site

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Electronic Image Data

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Identification

Mission: ISS018 Roll: E Frame: 5321 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS018
Country or Geographic Name: USA-IDAHO
Features: HELLS HALF ACRE, LAVA FLOWS, AGRICULTURE
Center Point: Latitude: 43.4 Longitude: -112.3 (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:

Camera

Camera Tilt: 13
Camera Focal Length: 800mm
Camera: N2: Nikon D2Xs
Film: 4288E : 4288 x 2848 pixel CMOS sensor, RGBG imager color filter.

Quality

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

Nadir

GMT Date: 20081024 (YYYYMMDD) GMT Time: 184438 (HHMMSS)
Nadir Point Latitude: 44.1, Longitude: -112.3 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)

Nadir to Photo Center Direction: South
Sun Azimuth: 172 (Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point)
Spacecraft Altitude: 188 nautical miles (348 km)
Sun Elevation Angle: 34 (Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point)
Orbit Number: 892

Captions

Hells Half Acre Lava Field, Idaho

Located in eastern Idaho, the Hell's Half Acre Lava Field is the easternmost large field associated with the Snake River Plain, which arcs across the center of the state. Geologists think that the abundant lava flows and other volcanic rocks of the Snake River Plain were created when the North American tectonic plate passed southwest over a mantle plume, a fixed "hotspot" in the Earth's mantle (the layer of Earth below the crust).The hotspot melted the rock of the tectonic plate as the plate passed over it, and magma rose to the surface.

Volcanism attributed to the hotspot began approximately 15 million years ago in the western portion of the Plain, with lava fields becoming younger to the east. With lavas erupted approximately 4,100 years ago, Hell's Half Acre is one of the youngest lava fields. This pattern-older lavas in the west and younger lavas in the east-reveals the direction the plate was moving. (If the plate had been moving the opposite direction over the hotspot, areas to the east would have encountered it first, and the eastern lavas would have been older.) Today, the center of hotspot volcanism is located in Yellowstone National Park, where it feeds the extensive geyser system.

Portions of the Hell's Half Acre Lava Field are a National Natural Landmark and Wilderness Study Area. This detailed astronaut photograph illustrates the forbidding landscape of the basaltic lava field. The complex ridge patterns of the black to grey-green flow surfaces include both smooth, ropy Pahoehoe and blocky Aa lava. Regions of tan soil surrounded by lava are known as kipukas. These "islands" are windows onto the older underlying soil surface. The kipukas are used for agriculture (both crops and grazing); several green fields are visible to the northwest of Interstate Highway 15 (image right). Light to dark mottling in the kipukas is most likely due to variations in moisture and disturbance by agricultural activities.

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