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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: ISS025 Roll: E Frame: 5259 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS025
Country or Geographic Name: USA-NEVADA
Features: PYRAMID LAKE, GLINT FEATURES, SWIRLS, WINNEMUCCA LAKEBED, MTS., DRAINAGE
Center Point Latitude: 40.2 Center Point Longitude: -119.5 (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: 50
Camera Focal Length: 180mm
Camera: N2: Nikon D2Xs
Film: 4288E : 4288 x 2848 pixel CMOS sensor, RGBG imager color filter.
Percentage of Cloud Cover: 10 (0-10)
NadirGMT Date: 20100928 (YYYYMMDD) GMT Time: 201618 (HHMMSS)
Nadir Point Latitude: 43.8, Longitude: -120.3 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)
Nadir to Photo Center Direction: South
Sun Azimuth: 189 (Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point)
Spacecraft Altitude: 188 nautical miles (348 km)
Sun Elevation Angle: 44 (Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point)
Orbit Number: 3977
CaptionsPyramid Lake, Nevada
Pyramid Lake in western Nevada, near the California border, is a remnant of the ancient and much larger Lake Lahontan, which formed during the last Ice Age when the regional climate was significantly cooler and wetter. Pyramid Lake and the now-dry Lake Winnemucca are two of seven smaller lakes that collectively formed Lake Lahontan when water levels were higher. At its peak volume during the late Pleistocene Epoch (approximately 15,000 years ago), Lake Lahontan covered much of western Nevada and extended into California.
The deepest part of Lake Lahontan survives today as Pyramid Lake, and it is well known to geologists because of the spectacular calcium carbonate deposits found there. The lake takes its name from one such pyramid-shaped deposit of tufa, rock formed by the precipitation of calcium carbonate from spring water, lake water, or a combination of the two. Over time, these deposits develop a wide variety of forms—including mounds, towers, sheets, and reefs—while sometimes coating other rocks. The tufa is exposed when water levels drop due to changes in regional climate, the diversion of water for human use, or both (Mono Lake in California for example).
This astronaut photograph also captures sunglint—light reflected off of a water surface back towards the observer—on the northern (lower end in this image) and southeastern (upper) ends of the lake. Two large spiral whorls are visible in sunglint at the northern end, likely the result of wind patterns that disturb the water surface and cause localized variations in the amount of light reflected back to the International Space Station.
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Recommended Citation: Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA-Johnson Space Center. "The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth." .