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Photographing the Earth from the International Space Station

Astronaut Photography of Earth - Display Record

ISS028-E-24360

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File NameFile Size (bytes)WidthHeightAnnotatedCroppedPurposeComments
View ISS028-E-24360.JPG 104562640426 No No
View ISS028-E-24360.JPG 240092540350 Yes Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site
View ISS028-E-24360.JPG 6224231000649 No Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site
View ISS028-E-24360.JPG 214434442562832 No No

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Electronic Image Data

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Identification

Mission: ISS028 Roll: E Frame: 24360 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS028
Country or Geographic Name: FRANCE
Features: PARIS AT NIGHT, ENGLISH CHANNEL, LONDON AT NIGHT, BRUSSELS AT NIGHT
Center Point: Latitude: 49.0 Longitude: 1.5 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)

Stereo: (Yes indicates there is an adjacent picture of the same area)
ONC Map ID: JNC Map ID:

Camera

Camera Tilt: 55
Camera Focal Length: 28mm
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.

Quality

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

Nadir

GMT Date: 20110810 (YYYYMMDD) GMT Time: 002526 (HHMMSS)
Nadir Point Latitude: 50.3, Longitude: -3.0 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)

Nadir to Photo Center Direction: East
Sun Azimuth: 2 (Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point)
Spacecraft Altitude: 201 nautical miles (372 km)
Sun Elevation Angle: -24 (Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point)
Orbit Number: 931

Captions

Northwestern Europe at Night

Several of the oldest cities of northwestern Europe are highlighted in this astronaut photograph taken from the International Space Station (ISS) at 00:25:26 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). While the landscape is dotted with numerous clusters of lights from individual urban areas, the metropolitan areas of London (United Kingdom), Paris (France), Brussels (Belgium) and Amsterdam (Netherlands) stand out due to their large light “footprints”. The metropolitan area of Milan, Italy is also visible at image lower left. While each of these cities is, or has been, the capital of a kingdom, republic, or empire—Paris and London have been all three—Brussels is also the capital city of the European Union.

This astronaut photograph was taken with a short camera lens, providing the large field of view recorded in the image. To give a sense of scale, the centers of the London and Paris metropolitan areas are approximately 340 kilometers distant from each other. The image is also oblique, or taken looking outwards at an angle from the ISS; this tends to foreshorten the image, making the distance between Paris and Milan (~640 kilometers) appear less than that of Paris to London.

In contrast to the land surface defined by the city lights, the English Channel at image right presents a uniform dark appearance. Similarly, the Alps (image bottom center) to the north of Milan are also largely devoid of lights. While much of the atmosphere was clear at the time the image was taken, the lights of the Brussels metropolitan area are dimmed by thin cloud cover.


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