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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: ISS019 Roll: E Frame: 14473 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS019
Country or Geographic Name: CHILE
Features: EVAPORATION PONDS, PAMPA DEL TAMARUGAL
Center Point: Latitude: -20.9 Longitude: -69.5 (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: 16
Camera Focal Length: 400mm
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: 20090505 (YYYYMMDD) GMT Time: 135655 (HHMMSS)
Nadir Point Latitude: -21.7, Longitude: -69.1 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)
Nadir to Photo Center Direction: Northwest
Sun Azimuth: 48 (Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point)
Spacecraft Altitude: 193 nautical miles (357 km)
Sun Elevation Angle: 36 (Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point)
Orbit Number: 3924
CaptionsSolar Evaporation Ponds, Atacama Desert
Brightly colored solar evaporation (salt) ponds in a desert landscape give this astronaut photo an unreal quality. The ponds sit near the foot of a long alluvial fan in the Pampa del Tamarugal, the great hyper-arid inner valley of Chile’s Atacama Desert. The alluvial fan sediments are dark brown, and they contrast sharply with tan sediments of the Pampa del Tamarugal.
Nitrates and many other minerals are mined in this region. A few extraction pits and ore dumps are visible at upper left. Iodine is one of the products from mining; it is first extracted by heap leaching. Waste liquids from the iodine plants are dried in the tan and brightly colored evaporation ponds to crystallize nitrate salts for collection. The recovered nitrates are mainly used for fertilizer for higher-value crops. They are also used in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, explosives, glass, and ceramics, as well as in water treatment and metallurgical processes.
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Recommended Citation: Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA-Johnson Space Center. "The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth." .