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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 ISS026-E-23526.JPG 89243640438 No No
View ISS026-E-23526.JPG 275266540360 Yes Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site
View ISS026-E-23526.JPG 7441181000667 No Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site
View ISS026-E-23526.JPG 130175442562913 No No

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Mission: ISS026 Roll: E Frame: 23526 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS026
Country or Geographic Name: ERITREA
Center Point: Latitude: 13.4 Longitude: 41.7 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)

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


Camera Tilt: 30
Camera Focal Length: 800mm
Camera: N5: Nikon D3S
Film: 4256E : 4256 x 2832 pixel CMOS sensor, 36.0mm x 23.9mm, total pixels: 12.87 million, Nikon FX format.


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


GMT Date: 20110130 (YYYYMMDD) GMT Time: 093805 (HHMMSS)
Nadir Point Latitude: 12.7, Longitude: 43.4 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)

Nadir to Photo Center Direction: West
Sun Azimuth: 189 (Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point)
Spacecraft Altitude: 190 nautical miles (352 km)
Sun Elevation Angle: 59 (Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point)
Orbit Number: 1921


Nabro Volcano Before Eruption

Prior to June 12, 2011, the Nabro volcano in northeast Africa looked like it does in the image above. Then, on the night of June 12, 2011, the stratovolcano erupted for the first time in recorded history. It spewed ash and large amounts of sulfur dioxide gas—the highest levels ever detected from space, according to preliminary estimates from researchers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

Astronauts on the International Space Station snapped this digital photograph of Nabro in January 2011, when all was still quiet. The horseshoe-shaped caldera stretches 8 kilometers (5 miles) in diameter and opens to the southwest. Two smaller calderas lie within the larger one. Gullies and channels scar the outer flanks, signs of many years of runoff. The inner edge of the caldera has steep cliffs, some as high as 400 meters.

Located in Eritrea near the border with Ethiopia, Nabro is part of larger double-caldera structure with the Mallahle volcano to the southwest. Both volcanoes were built, like Kilimanjaro, from trachyte lavas, and later filled by eruptions of ignimbrite. Research suggests that both calderas may have formed around the same time. The volcanic range has been “virtually undocumented,” according to researchers.

As of June 18, 2011, the volcano was still erupting, though less effusively than the during the preceding week. The ash cloud has periodically disrupted air traffic in North Africa and parts of the eastern Mediterranean. Ash plumes were reported as far as the Central African Republic, Israel, and Turkmenistan.

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