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(NASA Crew Earth Observations)

Photographing the Earth from the International Space Station

Astronaut Photography of Earth - Display Record


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File NameFile Size (bytes)WidthHeightAnnotatedCroppedPurposeComments
View ISS025-E-8532.JPG 175154640607 No No
View ISS025-E-8532.JPG 316213540390 Yes Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site
View ISS025-E-8532.JPG 83659321782067 No No
View ISS025-E-8532.JPG 9044851000722 No Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site

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Mission: ISS025 Roll: E Frame: 8532 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS025
Country or Geographic Name: USA-TEXAS
Center Point: Latitude: 29.7 Longitude: -95.4 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)

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


Camera Tilt: 27
Camera Focal Length: 1000mm
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.


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


GMT Date: 20101005 (YYYYMMDD) GMT Time: 171100 (HHMMSS)
Nadir Point Latitude: 29.9, Longitude: -93.8 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)

Nadir to Photo Center Direction: West
Sun Azimuth: 158 (Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point)
Spacecraft Altitude: 188 nautical miles (348 km)
Sun Elevation Angle: 53 (Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point)
Orbit Number: 85


Reliant Park Area, Houston, Texas

This astronaut photograph highlights the Reliant Park area of Houston’s “inner loop,” the part of the city located within Interstate Highway 610. Reliant Park includes two large sports complexes: Reliant Stadium and Reliant Astrodome. Built in 1965, the Astrodome was the world’s first fully enclosed, domed sports stadium. The structure is no longer used for major sporting events, and proposals have been made for renovating and repurposing it. Reliant Stadium was built in 2002 to host the Houston Texans, a National Football League team. It was the first American football stadium built with a retractable roof (shown here in its retracted position).

Houston is home to the NASA Johnson Space Center and is notable among major U.S. metropolitan areas for its lack of formal zoning ordinances. (Other forms of regulation play a similar role here.) This leads to highly mixed land use within the city. Around Reliant Park you can find large asphalt parking lots, vacant lots with a mixture of grass and exposed topsoil, and both single- and multi-family residential areas. A forested area (dark green, lower left) is located less than two kilometers from the parking lots.

This subset of a handheld digital camera image has a spatial resolution of 2 to 3 meters per pixel (or picture element), making it one of the highest spatial resolution images ever obtained from the International Space Station (ISS). Such high resolution was made possible by using lens “doublers” to increase the optical magnification of camera lenses. Active ISS motion compensation is also important; the astronaut must pan the camera by hand at just the right rate, keeping the object at the same point in the viewfinder. The technique involves bracing yourself against the space station bulkhead to prevent movement related to weightlessness. Traditional short lens photography is easier because it does not require motion compensation.

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