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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: ISS031 Roll: E Frame: 123071 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS031
Country or Geographic Name: USA-NEW YORK
Features: LAKE ONTARIO, LAKE ERIE, LAKE HURON, SUNGLINT, FINGER LAKES, PAN
Center Point: Latitude: 43.0 Longitude: -78.5 (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: 45mm
Camera: N2: Nikon D2Xs
Film: 4288E : 4288 x 2848 pixel CMOS sensor, RGBG imager color filter.
Percentage of Cloud Cover: 50 (26-50)
GMT Date: 20120614 (YYYYMMDD) GMT Time: 225234 (HHMMSS)
Nadir Point Latitude: 43.9, Longitude: -64.0 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)
Nadir to Photo Center Direction: West
Sun Azimuth: 293 (Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point)
Spacecraft Altitude: 208 nautical miles (385 km)
Sun Elevation Angle: 10 (Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point)
CaptionsGreat Lakes in Sunglint
From the vantage point of the International Space Station (ISS), astronauts observe many spectacular phenomena including aurora, noctilucent clouds, airglow, and sunglint on the Earth’s water bodies. Sunglint is light reflected off of a water surface towards the observer such that it creates the appearance of a mirror-like surface. If the viewing and lighting conditions are ideal, that mirror-like surface can extend over very large areas, such as the entire surface of Lake Ontario (approximately 18,960 square kilometers).
This astronaut photograph was taken while the ISS was located over a point to the southeast of Nova Scotia (approximately 1200 kilometers ground distance from the centerpoint of the image). Lake Ontario, Lake Huron, the Finger Lakes of upstate New York, and numerous other bodies of water appear brilliantly lit by sunglint. To the west, Lake Erie is also highlighted by sunglint, but less light is being reflected back towards the astronaut observer resulting in a duller appearance.
Much of central Canada is obscured by extensive cloud cover in the image, whereas a smaller grouping of clouds obscures the Appalachian range and Pennsylvania (image lower left). The blue envelope of the Earth’s atmosphere is visible above the curved limb, or horizon line that extends across the upper third of the image. Such panoramic views of the planet are readily taken through ISS viewing ports with handheld digital cameras which allow the astronaut to take advantage of the full range of viewing angles.
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This service is provided by the International Space Station program and the JSC Astromaterials Research & Exploration Science Directorate.
Recommended Citation: Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA-Johnson Space Center. "The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth." .