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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: 254011 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS030
Country or Geographic Name: ALGERIA
Features: OUARKZIZ IMPACT CRATER, MOUNTAINS, SEDIMENTARY STRATA
Center Point Latitude: 29.0 Center Point Longitude: -7.5 (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: 21
Camera Focal Length: 400mm
Camera: N4: Nikon D3X
Film: 6048E : 6048 x 4032 pixel CMOS sensor, 35.9mm x 24.0mm, total pixels: 25.72 million, Nikon FX format.
Percentage of Cloud Cover: 10 (0-10)
NadirGMT Date: 20120421 (YYYYMMDD) GMT Time: 151348 (HHMMSS)
Nadir Point Latitude: 29.8, Longitude: -6.4 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)
Nadir to Photo Center Direction: Southwest
Sun Azimuth: 255 (Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point)
Spacecraft Altitude: 210 nautical miles (389 km)
Sun Elevation Angle: 47 (Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point)
CaptionsOuarkziz Impact Crater, Algeria
The Ouarkziz Impact Crater is located in northwestern Algeria close to the border with Morocco. The crater was formed by a meteor impact less than 70 million years ago during the late Cretaceous Period of the Mesozoic Era or “Age of Dinosaurs”. Originally called Tindouf, the 3.5 kilometer in diameter impact crater (image center) has been heavily eroded since its formation; however its circular morphology is highlighted by exposures of older sedimentary rock layers that form roughly northwest to southeast-trending ridgelines to the north and south. From the vantage point of an astronaut on board the International Space Station, the impact crater is clearly visible with a magnifying camera lens.
A geologist interpreting this image to build a working geological history of the region would conclude that the Ouarkziz impact crater is younger than the sedimentary rocks, as the rock layers had to be already present for the meteor to hit them. Likewise, a stream channel is visible cutting across the center of the impact structure (image center), indicating that the channel formed after the impact had occurred. This Principal of Cross-Cutting Relationships, usually attributed to the famous 19th century geologist Charles Lyell, is a basic logic tool used by geologists to build relative sequence and history of events when investigating a region.
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Recommended Citation: Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA-Johnson Space Center. "The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth." .