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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: ISS022 Roll: E Frame: 5807 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS022
Country or Geographic Name: ITALY
Features: CALABRIA, CLOUDS, TYRRHENIAN SEA, IONIAN SEA, SUNGLINT
Center Point: Latitude: 38.5 Longitude: 16.1 (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: High Oblique
Camera Focal Length: 400mm
Camera: N2: Nikon D2Xs
Film: 4288E : 4288 x 2848 pixel CMOS sensor, RGBG imager color filter.
Percentage of Cloud Cover: 50 (26-50)
GMT Date: 20091203 (YYYYMMDD) GMT Time: 122243 (HHMMSS)
Nadir Point Latitude: 46.6, Longitude: 22.3 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)
Nadir to Photo Center Direction: Southwest
Sun Azimuth: 209 (Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point)
Spacecraft Altitude: 180 nautical miles (333 km)
Sun Elevation Angle: 16 (Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point)
Orbit Number: 3263
CaptionsCloud Formations and Sunglint, Italy
This astronaut photograph shows the Calabria region of southern Italy—the toe of Italy’s “boot”—outlined by the Ionian and Tyrrhenian Seas to the southeast and northwest respectively. The water surfaces present a mirror-like appearance due to sunglint. This phenomenon is caused by sunlight reflecting off the water surface directly back towards the astronaut observer on board the International Space Station (ISS). The ISS was located over northwestern Romania, approximately 1,040 kilometers to the northeast of Calabria, when this image was taken.
The Calabrian Peninsula appears shortened and distorted due to the extreme sideways viewing angle from the ISS. Such a perspective is termed oblique, as opposed to a nadir view, in which the astronaut is looking directly downwards towards the Earth’s surface from the ISS. This highly oblique view also highlights two distinct cloud patterns over the Calabrian interior. Patchy, highly textured cumulus clouds are present at lower altitudes, while grey altostratus clouds are stretched out by prevailing winds at higher altitudes. The Strait of Messina, just visible at image upper right, marks the boundary between the coastline of Italy and the island of Sicily.
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Recommended Citation: Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA-Johnson Space Center. "The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth." .