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Photographing the Earth from the International Space Station

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File NameFile Size (bytes)WidthHeightAnnotatedCroppedPurposeComments
View ISS030-E-5118.JPG 62384640425 No No
View ISS030-E-5118.JPG 173725540359 Yes Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site
View ISS030-E-5118.JPG 4767501000664 No Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site
View ISS030-E-5118.JPG 97702642882848 No No

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Mission: ISS030 Roll: E Frame: 5118 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS030
Country or Geographic Name: ARGENTINA
Center Point: Latitude: -39.0 Longitude: -62.0 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)

Stereo: (Yes indicates there is an adjacent picture of the same area)


Camera Tilt: High Oblique
Camera Focal Length: 28mm
Camera: N2: Nikon D2Xs
Film: 4288E : 4288 x 2848 pixel CMOS sensor, RGBG imager color filter.


Film Exposure:
Percentage of Cloud Cover: 25 (11-25)


GMT Date: 20111122 (YYYYMMDD) GMT Time: 194407 (HHMMSS)
Nadir Point Latitude: -39.6, Longitude: -54.4 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)

Nadir to Photo Center Direction: West
Sun Azimuth: 269 (Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point)
Spacecraft Altitude: 224 nautical miles (415 km)
Sun Elevation Angle: 32 (Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point)
Orbit Number:


Dust Plume over the Bahia Blanca, South America

This panoramic view of eastern Argentina and the Atlantic coastline is centered near Bahia Blanca, which is also highlighted by sun glint – light reflected off the water surface back towards the observer. In this case, the observer was an astronaut on board the International Space Station (ISS). The oblique view looks generally westward (and downwards) from the orbital position of the ISS towards a large plume of dust blowing southeastward from the interior and over the open Atlantic Ocean. The only significant cloud cover was located offshore (image upper left).

Northwestern and central Argentina are subject to frequent dust storms where a combination of extensive late Pleistocene loess—fine sediments deposited by wind and typically associated with former continental glaciers—and strong, dry westerly winds descending from the Andes, known locally as the pampero sucio, combine to produce sudden and extensive clouds of the fine soil. The particular dust event illustrated by the image covers much of the province of Rio Negro and the southern parts of the provinces of La Pampa and Buenos Aires as well as the coastal waters between the Gulf of San Matias (image upper left) and Bahia Blanca (image center), located approximately 330 kilometers to the northeast.

The area illustrated by the image includes the agriculturally productive southern Pampas plain region where it transitions to the drier, less productive low hills and valleys of northern Patagonia. A docked Russian Progress spacecraft is visible at image upper right.

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