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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: 6687 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS028
Country or Geographic Name: MADAGASCAR
Features: BETSIBOKA RIVER, MAHAJAMBE BAY, MAHAJANGA, MOZAMBIQUE CHANNEL
Center Point: Latitude: -15.5 Longitude: 47.0 (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: 36
Camera Focal Length: 70mm
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: 20110602 (YYYYMMDD) GMT Time: 085845 (HHMMSS)
Nadir Point Latitude: -17.2, Longitude: 45.5 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)
Nadir to Photo Center Direction: Northeast
Sun Azimuth: 359 (Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point)
Spacecraft Altitude: 188 nautical miles (348 km)
Sun Elevation Angle: 51 (Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point)
Orbit Number: 3857
CaptionsEstuaries, Northwestern Coast of Madagascar
Regions where fresh water flowing in rivers and salt water from the seas and oceans mix are called estuaries, and they are among the most biologically productive ecosystems on Earth. This astronaut photograph, taken from the International Space Station, highlights two estuaries located along the northwestern coastline of the island of Madagascar. The Mozambique Channel (image top) separates Madagascar from the southeastern coast of Africa. Bombetoka Bay (image upper left) is fed by the Betsiboka River and is a frequent subject of astronaut photography due to its striking red floodplain sediments. Mahajamba Bay (image right) is fed by several rivers including the Mahajamba and Sofia Rivers; like the Betsiboka, the floodplains of these rivers also contain reddish sediments eroded from their basins upstream.
The brackish (mix of fresh and salty water) conditions found in most estuaries host unique plant and animal species adapted to live in such environments. Mangroves in particular are a common plant species found in and around Madagascar estuaries, and Bombetoka Bay contains some of the largest remaining stands. Estuaries also host abundant fish and shellfish species - many of which need access to freshwater for a portion of their life cycles – and these in turn support local and migratory bird species that prey on them. However, human activities such as urban development, overfishing, and increased sediment loading from erosion of upriver highlands threaten the ecosystem health of the estuaries. In particular, the silt deposits in Bombetoka Bay at the mouth of the Betsiboka River have been filling in the bay.
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Recommended Citation: Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA-Johnson Space Center. "The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth." .