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(NASA Crew Earth Observations)

Photographing the Earth from the International Space Station

Astronaut Photography of Earth - Display Record


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File NameFile Size (bytes)WidthHeightAnnotatedCroppedPurposeComments
View ISS031-E-6398.JPG 89073640425 No No
View ISS031-E-6398.JPG 295529540352 Yes Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site
View ISS031-E-6398.JPG 9350811000652 No Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site
View ISS031-E-6398.JPG 183861642882848 No No

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Mission: ISS031 Roll: E Frame: 6398 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS031
Country or Geographic Name: USA-UTAH
Center Point: Latitude: 37.3 Longitude: -110.8 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)

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


Camera Tilt: 44
Camera Focal Length: 400mm
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: 20120430 (YYYYMMDD) GMT Time: 192619 (HHMMSS)
Nadir Point Latitude: 40.4, Longitude: -109.4 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)

Nadir to Photo Center Direction: South
Sun Azimuth: 187 (Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point)
Spacecraft Altitude: 212 nautical miles (393 km)
Sun Elevation Angle: 65 (Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point)
Orbit Number:


Lake Powell and The Rincon, Utah

This astronaut photograph highlights part of Lake Powell; the lake extends across southeastern Utah and northeastern Arizona. Lake Powell started filling in 1963 when the Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River in Arizona was completed, and Glen Canyon flooded. The serpentine water surface of the reservoir-highlighted by gray regions of sunglint-follows the incised course of the canyon. Today Lake Powell is part of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area which extends for more than 186 miles along the shoreline and side canyons. The primary intended use of Lake Powell’s water is support of agricultural production, with a small portion allocated to urban use in Arizona, Nevada, and California.

The reservoir did not reach its maximum capacity of 27 million acre-feet until 1980. More recently, extended drought conditions in the southwestern United States over the past decade have resulted in a significant lowering of the Lake water level and emergence of parts of Glen Canyon. Should average precipitation in the Colorado River watershed lessen (as predicted by regional climate change models), that could result in further lowering of the Lake Powell water level and changes to the current water management plans.

Fluctuations in water levels and change of river courses are a common occurrence seen in the geologic record of rivers. Looking somewhat like a donut or automobile tire from the vantage point of the International Space Station, The Rincon (image center) is an entrenched and abandoned meander, or loop, of the Colorado River, though to have formed several thousand years ago when the river cut straight across the ends of the loop and shortened its course by six miles. The resulting canyon and 600 – 750 feet-high central mesa indicate where the river used to flow. The term “rincon” also is used by geomorphologists to describe similar ancient river features observed elsewhere. The Goosenecks of the San Juan River are an example of an active entrenched meander.

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