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The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth
(NASA Crew Earth Observations)
Astronaut Photography of Earth - Display Record
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IdentificationMission: ISS028 Roll: E Frame: 34749 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS028
Country or Geographic Name: CANADA-N
Features: HORSE ISLANDS, PETERMANN ICE ISLAND-A, LABRADOR SEA
Center Point: Latitude: 50.4 Longitude: -55.8 (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:
CameraCamera Tilt: High Oblique
Camera Focal Length: 400mm
Camera: N2: Nikon D2Xs
Film: 4288E : 4288 x 2848 pixel CMOS sensor, RGBG imager color filter.
Percentage of Cloud Cover: 10 (0-10)
GMT Date: 20110829 (YYYYMMDD) GMT Time: 191849 (HHMMSS)
Nadir Point Latitude: 47.0, Longitude: -59.5 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)
Nadir to Photo Center Direction: Northeast
Sun Azimuth: 245 (Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point)
Spacecraft Altitude: 203 nautical miles (376 km)
Sun Elevation Angle: 34 (Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point)
Orbit Number: 3763
CaptionsMelt Ponds, Petermann Ice Island
Note: This caption refers to the image versions labeled "NASA's Earth Observatory web site".
After more than a year and several thousand kilometers of sailing the seas, Petermann Ice Island is still drifting in the North Atlantic off the shores of Newfoundland, Canada. Once a hunk of ice fives times the size of Manhattan Island, the ice island has splintered several times since it dropped off the edge of Greenland's Petermann Glacier. Yet still it behaves a bit like the massive ice sheet it left 14 months ago.
Astronauts on the International Space Station used a digital camera to capture this view of Petermann Ice Island A, fragment 2, off of the northeast coast of Newfoundland on August 29, 2011. Spanning roughly 4 kilometers by 3.5 kilometers (2.5 by 2 miles), the ice island is covered with melt ponds and streams, much as the surface of Greenland looks in mid-summer.
As ice melts on top of the Greenland ice sheet, the melt water forms streams and pools in the depressions on the ice surface. Drawn downslope by gravityŚmuch like streams on a mountainsideŚwater also runs toward the edges of the ice. In some cases, it cracks through it and rushes to the bottom. Such processes appear to be at work on the ice island as well.
August 2011 was a busy month in the life of the ice island, according to the Canadian Ice Service. On August 7, it became grounded on a shoal or shallow seafloor off of St. Anthony, Newfoundland, where it sat for 11 days. By August 18, the ice island broke free and began drifting again, only to split into two large pieces about five days later. The Ice Service last reported on it on August 25.
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Recommended Citation: Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA-Johnson Space Center. "The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth." .