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Astronaut Photography of Earth - Display Record
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IdentificationMission: ISS029 Roll: E Frame: 29638 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS029
Country or Geographic Name: AUSTRALIA-WA
Features: IMPERIEUSE REEF, CLERKE REEF, AND MERMAID REEF OF ROWLEY SHOALS
Center Point Latitude: -17.3 Center Point Longitude: 119.3 (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: 34
Camera Focal Length: 100mm
Camera: N2: Nikon D2Xs
Film: 4288E : 4288 x 2848 pixel CMOS sensor, RGBG imager color filter.
Percentage of Cloud Cover: 10 (0-10)
NadirGMT Date: 20111018 (YYYYMMDD) GMT Time: 064313 (HHMMSS)
Nadir Point Latitude: -15.8, Longitude: 121.0 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)
Nadir to Photo Center Direction: Southwest
Sun Azimuth: 272 (Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point)
Spacecraft Altitude: 203 nautical miles (376 km)
Sun Elevation Angle: 45 (Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point)
Orbit Number: 2012
CaptionsRowley Shoals, Timor Sea
This astronaut photograph highlights the trio of coral reef atolls known as Rowley Shoals, located in the southwestern Timor Sea. Three reef areas make up the shoals—extending approximately 100 kilometers from northeast to southwest, they are Mermaid Reef, Clerke Reef, and Imperieuse Reef. Only Clerke Reef and Imperieuse Reef have white sandy islets (or cays) that remain above water. Imperieuse Reef also has the only permanent man-made structure– a lighthouse located on Cunningham Islet, a cay at the northern end of the reef. Thin patchy cloud cover is visible at image lower right and at image top.
Rowley Shoals is located off the northwestern Australia coastline, approximately 300 km west of the city of Broome. Since the late 1970s, fishing and diving expeditions—based in Broome—have frequented the atolls of the Shoals. Clerke and Imperieuse Reefs are part of the Rowley Shoals Marine Park established in 1990. Mermaid Reef is also managed as the Mermaid Reef Marine National Nature Reserve (established in 1991).
The biodiversity of the atolls is impressive, with 233 coral species and 688 fish species more typical of Southeast Asia than other Western Australian reef ecosystems. Species include staghorn coral, giant clams, giant potato cod, maori wrasse, mackerel and tuna. In addition, Bedwell Island (a cay in Clerke Reef) hosts a colony of red-tailed tropicbirds as well as species of shearwaters, sea-eagles, terns, plovers, and egrets.
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Recommended Citation: Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA-Johnson Space Center. "The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth." .