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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: 14918 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS019
Country or Geographic Name: ATLANTIC OCEAN I(S).
Features: ST HELENA I., JAMESTOWN, DIANA PK., FOR., RAVINES
Center Point: Latitude: -16.0 Longitude: -5.7 (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: 6
Camera Focal Length: 400mm
Camera: N2: Nikon D2Xs
Film: 4288E : 4288 x 2848 pixel CMOS sensor, RGBG imager color filter.
Percentage of Cloud Cover: 25 (11-25)
GMT Date: 20090507 (YYYYMMDD) GMT Time: 083705 (HHMMSS)
Nadir Point Latitude: -15.7, Longitude: -5.5 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)
Nadir to Photo Center Direction: Southwest
Sun Azimuth: 62 (Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point)
Spacecraft Altitude: 193 nautical miles (357 km)
Sun Elevation Angle: 26 (Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point)
Orbit Number: 3952
CaptionsSaint Helena Island
Saint Helena Island, located in the South Atlantic Ocean approximately 1,860 kilometers (1,156 miles) west of Africa, was one of the many isolated islands that naturalist Charles Darwin visited during his scientific voyages in the nineteenth century. He visited the island in 1836 aboard the HMS Beagle, recording observations of the plants, animals, and geology that would shape his theory of evolution. This image was acquired by astronauts onboard the International Space Station as part of an ongoing effort (the HMS Beagle Project to document current biodiversity in areas visited by Charles Darwin.
This astronaut photograph shows the islandís sharp peaks and deep ravines; the rugged topography results from erosion of the volcanic rocks that make up the island. The change in elevation from the coast to the interior creates a climate gradient. The higher, wetter center is covered with green vegetation, whereas the lower coastal areas are drier and hotter, with little vegetation cover. Human presence on the island has also caused dramatic changes to the original plants and animals of the island. Only about 10 percent of the forest cover observed by the first explorers now remains in a semi-natural state, concentrated in the interior highlands.
Saint Helena Island is perhaps best known as the final resting place of Napoleon Bonaparte I of France. Bonaparte was exiled to the island following his defeat at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815; he died on the island six years later in 1821. Today, the island is a British Overseas Territory, with access provided thirty times a year by a single ship, the Royal Mail Ship St. Helena.
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Recommended Citation: Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA-Johnson Space Center. "The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth." .