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Photographing the Earth from the International Space Station

Astronaut Photography of Earth - Display Record

ISS022-E-58538

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File NameFile Size (bytes)WidthHeightAnnotatedCroppedPurposeComments
View ISS022-E-58538.JPG 63317640439 No No
View ISS022-E-58538.JPG 186205540360 Yes Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site
View ISS022-E-58538.JPG 5559771000667 No Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site
View ISS022-E-58538.JPG 205632160484147 No No

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Identification

Mission: ISS022 Roll: E Frame: 58538 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS022
Country or Geographic Name: UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Features: SIR BANI YAS ISLAND, LAGOON, SALT DOME
Center Point: Latitude: 24.3 Longitude: 52.6 (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: 23
Camera Focal Length: 800mm
Camera: N4: Nikon D3X
Film: 6048E : 6048 x 4032 pixel CMOS sensor, 35.9mm x 24.0mm, total pixels: 25.72 million, Nikon FX format.

Quality

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

Nadir

GMT Date: 20100131 (YYYYMMDD) GMT Time: 123835 (HHMMSS)
Nadir Point Latitude: 23.0, Longitude: 52.7 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)

Nadir to Photo Center Direction: North
Sun Azimuth: 240 (Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point)
Spacecraft Altitude: 186 nautical miles (344 km)
Sun Elevation Angle: 20 (Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point)
Orbit Number: 194

Captions

Sir Bani Yas Island, United Arab Emirates

Sir Bani Yas Island is located in the Persian Gulf near the western coastline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Roughly 14 kilometers (9.7 miles) by 9 kilometers (6 miles), the island is the surface expression of a salt dome, which is pocket of salt minerals that balloons upward into overlying layers of sedimentary rocks.

Salt domes start during past periods of alternating wet and dry climate. A common scenario is an enclosed basin that is alternately flooded and then subjected to extreme drying. High rates of evaporation deposit thick layers of salt minerals, such as common table salt and gypsum (a chalky mineral that is a major component of wallboard). These layers are eventually buried by sediments. If the salt layers are buried deeply enough, the pressure can cause them flow. Salt has lower density than the surrounding rock, so it tends to flow upwards, pushing up the overlying layers of rock to form a dome. While many salt domes retain a cap of the youngest rock layers at the surface, in some cases the underlying salt extrudes all the way to the surface.

This astronaut photograph illustrates the varying character of surfaces on Sir Bani Yas. The central mountains of Jebel Wahid (image center) mark the location of the Sir Bani Yas salt dome. The dome has breached the surface but exposed salt, primarily gypsum, is eroded, leaving a rugged, insoluble cap made of fragments of the overlaying sedimentary and volcanic rocks. Sand and silt derived from the Jebel Wahid and surrounding gravel-covered areas form beaches along the outer edge of the island.

Sir Bani Yas Island was the personal retreat of the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan who was president of the UAE from 1971-2004. He established a nature preserve on the island for animals native to the Arabian Peninsula (including striped hyena, cheetah, oryx, ostrich, and gazelle) that is now open to the public. The numerous orchard plots than cover much of the island were part of a desert agricultural research program also started by the late Sheikh. Tan graded areas along the western and northeastern coast of the island (image bottom and image left) may be revegetated with additional plots or developed for other land uses.


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