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(NASA Crew Earth Observations)

Photographing the Earth from the International Space Station

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File NameFile Size (bytes)WidthHeightAnnotatedCroppedPurposeComments
View ISS031-E-148455.JPG 50798640425 No No
View ISS031-E-148455.JPG 871941000664 No No NASA's Earth Observatory web site
View ISS031-E-148455.JPG 117889720480 Yes No
View ISS031-E-148455.JPG 159999540360 Yes Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site
View ISS031-E-148455.JPG 77818142882848 No No

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Mission: ISS031 Roll: E Frame: 148455 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS031
Country or Geographic Name: EGYPT
Center Point: Latitude: 24.5 Longitude: 30.5 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)

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


Camera Tilt: 52
Camera Focal Length: 14mm
Camera: N2: Nikon D2Xs
Film: 4288E : 4288 x 2848 pixel CMOS sensor, RGBG imager color filter.


Film Exposure:
Percentage of Cloud Cover: 10 (0-10)


GMT Date: 20120621 (YYYYMMDD) GMT Time: 115656 (HHMMSS)
Nadir Point Latitude: 26.4, Longitude: 34.5 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)

Nadir to Photo Center Direction: West
Sun Azimuth: 272 (Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point)
Spacecraft Altitude: 211 nautical miles (391 km)
Sun Elevation Angle: 60 (Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point)
Orbit Number:


Toshka Lakes 2002–2012, southern Egypt

The Toshka Lakes were formed in the Sahara Desert of Egypt by water from the River Nile conveyed from Lake Nasser by a canal to the Toshka Depression. Flooding of the Toshka Depression had created the four main lakes with a maximum surface area in 2002 of ~1450 km2 — around 25.26 billion cubic meters of water. By 2006 the stored water was reduced by 50% and by 2012, this image shows open water only in the lowest parts of the main western and eastern basins—representing a reduction in surface area to 307 km2—nearly 80% smaller than the 2002 surface area. Standing water is almost completely absent from the central basin.

From space, astronauts documented the first lake—the easternmost one—in 1998. The lakes progressively grew in depressions to the west, the westernmost filling between 2000 and 2001. The image shows lines of center-point agricultural fields near the east-basin lake (dark dots at image center) nearest Lake Nasser. Sunglint on the western lake makes the water surface appear both light and dark, depending on which parts of the surface were ruffled by the wind at the moment the image was taken.

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