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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: ISS023 Roll: E Frame: 15142 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS023
Country or Geographic Name: PHILIPPINES
Features: SEMIRARA ISLANDS, PANIAN COALFIELD
Center Point: Latitude: 12.1 Longitude: 121.4 (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: 18
Camera Focal Length: 800mm
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: 20100331 (YYYYMMDD) GMT Time: 084651 (HHMMSS)
Nadir Point Latitude: 11.5, Longitude: 120.6 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)
Nadir to Photo Center Direction: Northeast
Sun Azimuth: 270 (Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point)
Spacecraft Altitude: 185 nautical miles (343 km)
Sun Elevation Angle: 19 (Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point)
Orbit Number: 1121
CaptionsPanian Mine, Semirara Island, Philippines
This detailed astronaut photograph provides a rare cloud-free view of the northern end of Semirara Island, which is located approximately 280 kilometers to the south of Manila in the Philippines. The northern part of the island is dominated by the Panian Coalfield, the largest of three coalfields on the island. Most of the coal is used for energy generation in the Philippines, with some exported to India and China.
The Panian coalfield is being mined using open-pit methods. The rock and soil above the coal layers (or seams) is known as overburden. Overburden is removed from the pit and heaped into piles, several of which ring the northern half of the pit. Several of the dark coal seams are visible along the sunlit southern wall of the pit (these may be more visible in the larger image version). Plumes of sediment from the overburden piles enter the Sulu Sea along the northern and eastern coastline of the island.
The Semirara coalfields formed from 12–23 million years ago along what was then a coastal plain—similar to the current geologic environment of the southeastern Gulf Coast of the United States. Organic materials were deposited in sequences of sandstone and mudstone, which were then covered by limestones as the environment became progressively more marine. Over geologic time, increased pressure from the overlying rocks changed the layers of organic material into coal.
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Recommended Citation: Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA-Johnson Space Center. "The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth." .