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Photographing the Earth from the International Space Station

Astronaut Photography of Earth - Display Record


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File NameFile Size (bytes)WidthHeightAnnotatedCroppedPurposeComments
View ISS027-E-20129.JPG 56804640438 No No
View ISS027-E-20129.JPG 155145540359 Yes Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site
View ISS027-E-20129.JPG 4251861000665 No Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site
View ISS027-E-20129.JPG 118973342562913 No No

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Mission: ISS027 Roll: E Frame: 20129 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS027
Country or Geographic Name: USA-MARYLAND
Center Point: Latitude: 39.0 Longitude: -76.0 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)

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


Camera Tilt: High Oblique
Camera Focal Length: 80mm
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: 20110406 (YYYYMMDD) GMT Time: 051921 (HHMMSS)
Nadir Point Latitude: 33.2, Longitude: -72.8 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)

Nadir to Photo Center Direction: Northwest
Sun Azimuth: 10 (Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point)
Spacecraft Altitude: 186 nautical miles (344 km)
Sun Elevation Angle: -50 (Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point)
Orbit Number: 2957


Atlantic Seaboard Conurbation at Night, United States of America

Note: This caption refers to the image versions labeled "NASA's Earth Observatory web site".

As regional metropolitan areas expand in both physical area and population, they typically aggregate to form economically, politically, and to some extent socially linked entities known as conurbations – the term “megalopolis” has also been used. One of the largest conurbations in the world is located along the eastern coastline of the United States, and has been termed the Atlantic Seaboard Conurbation (ASC). The ASC extends over 1000 kilometers and includes the major economic, governmental, and cultural centers of Boston, MA; New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; Baltimore, MD; and Washington, D.C.

This astronaut photograph includes every metropolitan area in the ASC except for Boston, MA (located off the image to the northeast of New York, NY). The image was taken during local night, which highlights the position and extent of each metropolitan area along the eastern seaboard by their urban lighting patterns. The establishment and growth of the conurbation was facilitated by transportation networks (railroads, highways, and air travel routes) for transfer of goods, materials, and population between the metropolitan areas.

Two other large metropolitan areas are visible in the image – Norfolk, VA and Richmond, VA at image lower left – but these are not considered to be part of the ASC. In contrast to the city lights that mark metropolitan areas and smaller communities along the sea coast and interior, the Atlantic Ocean appears as a featureless dark region occupying the lower right quarter of the image.

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