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Photographing the Earth from the International Space Station

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File NameFile Size (bytes)WidthHeightAnnotatedCroppedPurposeComments
View ISS025-E-6160.JPG 60257640437 No No
View ISS025-E-6160.JPG 207312540359 Yes Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site
View ISS025-E-6160.JPG 5936701000664 No Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site
View ISS025-E-6160.JPG 112604742882929 No No

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Mission: ISS025 Roll: E Frame: 6160 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS025
Country or Geographic Name: SUDAN
Center Point: Latitude: 18.5 Longitude: 32.0 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)

Stereo: (Yes indicates there is an adjacent picture of the same area)


Camera Tilt: 18
Camera Focal Length: 50mm
Camera: N2: Nikon D2Xs
Film: 4288E : 4288 x 2848 pixel CMOS sensor, RGBG imager color filter.


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


GMT Date: 20101005 (YYYYMMDD) GMT Time: 093658 (HHMMSS)
Nadir Point Latitude: 19.1, Longitude: 32.8 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)

Nadir to Photo Center Direction: Southwest
Sun Azimuth: 180 (Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point)
Spacecraft Altitude: 190 nautical miles (352 km)
Sun Elevation Angle: 66 (Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point)
Orbit Number: 80


Merowe Dam, Nile River, Republic of the Sudan

The Merowe Dam is located near the 4th cataract of the Nile River, in the Nubian Desert of the Republic of the Sudan (also known as Sudan). The dam was built to generate hydroelectric power—electricity intended to further industrial and agricultural development of the country. This astronaut photograph illustrates the current extent of the reservoir, which has been filling behind the dam since the final spill gate was closed in 2008. The Merowe Dam is located approximately 350 kilometer (215 miles) to the northwest of Sudan’s capital, Khartoum. The nearest settlement downstream of the dam is Karima.

Following Sudan’s independence from Egypt and the United Kingdom in 1956, allocation and control of Nile River water was divided between Egypt and Sudan by the Nile Waters Treaty signed in 1959. Today, other countries within the Nile basin—including Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda—are seeking more equitable allocation and utilization of the water and recently (2010) signed a new water use pact challenging the 1959 treaty.

Beyond the issues of water rights, several local tribes will be displaced by the planned 170 kilometer (105 mile) reservoir, and the flooded region contains significant but little-studied archeological sites. The Sudanese government has a resettlement program in place for the tribes, and a variety of international institutions have been conducting “salvage ” or “rescue” archeological surveys since 1999. Such rescue surveys seek to preserve as much information as possible from sites that will be destroyed or otherwise made inaccessible (in this case by flooding).

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