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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: 8604 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS028
Country or Geographic Name: ITALY
Features: PAN-SOUTHERN ITALIAN PENINSULA-SICILY AT NIGHT, ISS
Center Point: Latitude: 40.0 Longitude: 16.5 (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:
CameraCamera Tilt: High Oblique
Camera Focal Length: 35mm
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.
Percentage of Cloud Cover: 50 (26-50)
GMT Date: 20110611 (YYYYMMDD) GMT Time: 205310 (HHMMSS)
Nadir Point Latitude: 44.4, Longitude: 25.1 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)
Nadir to Photo Center Direction: Southwest
Sun Azimuth: 339 (Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point)
Spacecraft Altitude: 183 nautical miles (339 km)
Sun Elevation Angle: -20 (Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point)
Orbit Number: 4007
CaptionsSouthern Italian Peninsula at Night
Note: This caption refers to the image versions labeled "NASA's Earth Observatory web site".
The Earth’s surface at night is covered with a delicate tracery of lights, particularly in regions – such as Europe - that have a long history of urban development. Large urban areas are recognizable from orbit due to extensive electric lighting and distinct street patterns; with smaller urban areas spread across the land surface and coastlines, the outlines of continental landmasses are easily discernable at night.
This astronaut photograph highlights the night time appearance of the southern Italian Peninsula; the toe and heel of Italy’s “boot” are clearly defined by the lights of large cities such as Naples, Bari, and Brindisi as well as numerous smaller urban areas. The bordering Adriatic, Tyrrhenian, and Ionian Seas appear as dark regions to the east, west, and south of the boot. The city lights of Palermo and Catania on the island of Sicily are visible at image bottom center.
The International Space Station (ISS) was located over an area of Romania close to the capital city of Bucharest – approximately 945 kilometers to the northeast—at the time this image was taken. Part of a docked Russian spacecraft solar panel array is visible in the foreground at image right. The distance between the image subject area and the position of the astronaut-photographer, as well as the viewing angle looking outwards from the ISS, contributes to the foreshortened appearance of the Italian Peninsula and Sicily in the image.
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Recommended Citation: Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA-Johnson Space Center. "The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth." .