skip menus
Home >> Advanced Search >>

The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth

(NASA Crew Earth Observations)

Photographing the Earth from the International Space Station

Astronaut Photography of Earth - Display Record


Low-resolution Browse Image

(Most browse images are not color adjusted.)


Conditions for Use of Images >>
Image Transformation Tutorial >>   Saving, Color Adjusting, and Printing Images >>

Images to View on Your Computer Now

File NameFile Size (bytes)WidthHeightAnnotatedCroppedPurposeComments
View ISS027-E-5274.JPG 63000640437 No No
View ISS027-E-5274.JPG 159024540359 Yes Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site
View ISS027-E-5274.JPG 4327471000664 No Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site
View ISS027-E-5274.JPG 107552642882929 No No

Request the original image file.

Download a Keyhole Markup Language (KML) file for use in Google Earth.

Electronic Image Data

Camera Files >> No sound file available.


Mission: ISS027 Roll: E Frame: 5274 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS027
Country or Geographic Name: CHINA
Center Point: Latitude: 42.3 Longitude: 80.9 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)

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


Camera Tilt: 44
Camera Focal Length: 800mm
Camera: N2: Nikon D2Xs
Film: 4288E : 4288 x 2848 pixel CMOS sensor, RGBG imager color filter.


Film Exposure:
Percentage of Cloud Cover: 25 (11-25)


GMT Date: 20110316 (YYYYMMDD) GMT Time: 042723 (HHMMSS)
Nadir Point Latitude: 40.0, Longitude: 79.0 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)

Nadir to Photo Center Direction: Northeast
Sun Azimuth: 132 (Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point)
Spacecraft Altitude: 184 nautical miles (341 km)
Sun Elevation Angle: 37 (Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point)
Orbit Number: 2626


Central Tien Shan, People’s Republic of China

The Tien Shan (or “celestial mountains” in Chinese) is one of the largest continuous mountain ranges in the world, extending approximately 2500 kilometers roughly east-west across Central Asia. This astronaut photograph provides a detailed view of part of the central Tien Shan, located approximately 64 kilometers east of where the borders of China, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan meet. While the image looks like it might have been taken from an airplane, it was taken from the International Space Station (ISS) at an altitude of 341 kilometers. The distance between the ISS ground track position (approximately 304 kilometers to the southwest) and the imaged area produces an oblique – looking outwards an angle, rather than straight down – view that, together with shadowing of valleys, accentuates the mountainous topography.

Like the Himalayas to the south, the uplift of the Tien Shan results from the ongoing collision between the Eurasian and Indian continental tectonic plates. The rugged topography of the range is the result of subsequent erosion by water, wind, and in the highest parts of the range, active glaciers. Two types of glaciers are visible in the image; cirque glaciers occupy amphitheater-like depressions on the upper slopes of the mountains, and feed ice downslope to aggregate into large valley glaciers such as the one visible at image center. Low clouds obscure an adjacent valley and glaciers to the north (image upper left).

Two high peaks of the central Tien Shan are identifiable in the image. Xuelian Feng has a high summit of 6, 527 meters above sea level. To the east, the aptly-named Peak 6231 has summit of 6231 meters above sea level.

Download Packaged File.
This option downloads the following items, packaged into a single file, if they are available:
  • Browse image
  • Large JPEG
  • Cataloged information with captions
  • Camera file
  • Sound file

Search the Astronaut Photography Database