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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: ISS030 Roll: E Frame: 162344 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS030
Country or Geographic Name: RUSSIAN FEDERATION
Features: KAMCHATKA PENINSULA, ICE FLOES, SHIPUNSKIY CAPE, SNOW
Center Point: Latitude: 54.5 Longitude: 161.0 (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: 45
Camera Focal Length: 28mm
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: 20120315 (YYYYMMDD) GMT Time: 232752 (HHMMSS)
Nadir Point Latitude: 51.4, Longitude: 162.5 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)
Nadir to Photo Center Direction: North
Sun Azimuth: 147 (Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point)
Spacecraft Altitude: 204 nautical miles (378 km)
Sun Elevation Angle: 32 (Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point)
CaptionsIce Floes Along the Kamchatka Coastline, Russia
The International Space Station astronauts’ vantage point from orbit frequently affords them the opportunity to observe processes that are impossible to see on the ground – or in this case the northeastern Pacific Ocean. The winter season blankets the Kamchatka Peninsula of Russia in snow, but significant amounts of sea ice can also form and collect along the coastline. As ice floes grind against each other, they produce smaller floes that can be moved by wind and water currents acting along the coastline.
The irregular southeastern coastline of Kamchatka helps to produce large circular eddy currents from the main southwestward-flowing Kamchatka current. Three such eddies are clearly highlighted by surface ice floe patterns at image center. The ice patterns are very difficult (and dangerous) to navigate in an ocean vessel – while the floes may look thin and delicate from the ISS vantage point, even the smaller ice chunks are likely several meters across. White clouds at image top right are distinguished from the sea ice and snow cover in the image by their high brightness and discontinuous nature.
The Kamchatka Peninsula also hosts many currently and historically active stratovolcanoes. Kliuchevskoi Volcano, the highest in Kamchatka (summit elevation 4835 meters) and one of the most active, had its most recent confirmed eruption in June of 2011, while Karymsky Volcano to the south likely produced ash plumes days before this image was taken; the snow cover near the volcano to the south and east of the summit is darkened, probably due to a cover of fresh ash, or melted away altogether (image bottom center). In contrast, Kronotsky Volcano – a “textbook” symmetrical cone-shaped stratovolcano – last erupted in 1923.
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Recommended Citation: Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA-Johnson Space Center. "The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth." .