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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: 29061 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS023
Country or Geographic Name: FRANCE
Features: LYON, TORINO, MARSEIILE, CITY LIGHTS, LIGUREAN SEA, SUNGLINT
Center Point Latitude: 44.5 Center Point Longitude: 5.5 (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: 0mm
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.
Percentage of Cloud Cover: 10 (0-10)
NadirGMT Date: 20100428 (YYYYMMDD) GMT Time: 215412 (HHMMSS)
Nadir Point Latitude: 49.5, Longitude: 5.5 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)
Nadir to Photo Center Direction: South
Sun Azimuth: 333 (Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point)
Spacecraft Altitude: 188 nautical miles (348 km)
Sun Elevation Angle: -22 (Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point)
Orbit Number: 1571
CaptionsCity Lights at Night along the France-Italy Border
The brightly lit metropolitan areas of Torino (Italy), Lyon, and Marseille (both in France) stand out amidst numerous smaller urban areas in this dramatic astronaut photograph. The image captures the nighttime appearance of the France-Italy border. The southwestern end of the Alps Mountains separates the two countries. The island of Corsica is visible in the Ligurian Sea to the south (image top).
The full moon reflects brightly on the water surface and also illuminates the tops of low patchy clouds over the border (image center). This image was taken by an International Space Station (ISS) astronaut at approximately 11:55 p.m. local time, when the ISS was located over the France-Belgium border near Luxembourg.
Astronauts orbiting the Earth frequently collect images that include sunglint, or the mirror-like reflection of sunlight off a water surface. Sunglint typically lends a bright, or washed out appearance to the water surface. In clear-sky conditions, reflected light from the Moon can produce the same effect (moonglint), as illustrated in this astronaut photograph. The astronaut observer was looking towards the southeast at an oblique viewing angle at the time the image was taken; in other words, looking outwards from the ISS, not straight down towards the Earth.
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Recommended Citation: Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA-Johnson Space Center. "The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth." .