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(NASA Crew Earth Observations)

Photographing the Earth from the International Space Station

Astronaut Photography of Earth - Display Record


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File NameFile Size (bytes)WidthHeightAnnotatedCroppedPurposeComments
View ISS020-E-16279.JPG 59666640438 No No
View ISS020-E-16279.JPG 182125540337 Yes Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site
View ISS020-E-16279.JPG 5110161000624 No Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site
View ISS020-E-16279.JPG 80069642562913 No No

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Mission: ISS020 Roll: E Frame: 16279 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS020
Country or Geographic Name: KIRIBATI
Center Point: Latitude: -10.0 Longitude: -150.2 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)

Stereo: (Yes indicates there is an adjacent picture of the same area)


Camera Tilt: 24
Camera Focal Length: 800mm
Camera: N3: Nikon D3
Film: 4256E : 4256 x 2832 pixel CMOS sensor, 36.0mm x 23.9mm, total pixels: 12.87 million, Nikon FX format.


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


GMT Date: 20090701 (YYYYMMDD) GMT Time: 192213 (HHMMSS)
Nadir Point Latitude: -11.3, Longitude: -149.7 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)

Nadir to Photo Center Direction: North
Sun Azimuth: 49 (Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point)
Spacecraft Altitude: 186 nautical miles (344 km)
Sun Elevation Angle: 38 (Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point)
Orbit Number: 825


Millennium Island, Kiribati

Millennium Island—known as Caroline Island prior to 2000—is located at the southern end of the Line Islands in the South Pacific Ocean. This uninhabited island is part of the Republic of Kiribati, an island nation comprised of 32 atolls (including Millennium Island) and one raised coral island. Millennium Island is formed from a number of smaller islets built on coral reefs. The coral reefs grew around a now-submerged volcanic peak, leaving a ring of coral around an inner lagoon. The islands above the waterline are composed primarily of limestone rock and sand derived from the reefs. At a maximum height of approximately 6 meters (19.7 feet) above sea level, Millennium Island has been identified as being at great risk from sea level rise by the United Nations.

The islets of Millennium Island are readily visible in this astronaut photograph as irregular green vegetated areas surrounding the inner lagoon. The shallow lagoon waters are a lighter blue than the deeper surrounding ocean water; tan linear “fingers” within the lagoon are the tops of corals. The two largest islets are Nake Islet and South Islet, located at the north and south ends of Millennium Island respectively. The ecosystem of Millennium Island is considered to be relatively pristine despite periods of human habitation, guano mining, and agricultural activities, and the island has been recommended as both a World Heritage site and Biosphere Reserve.

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