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Photographing the Earth from the International Space Station

Astronaut Photography of Earth - Display Record

ISS033-E-12648

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File NameFile Size (bytes)WidthHeightAnnotatedCroppedPurposeComments
View ISS033-E-12648.JPG 49533640425 No No
View ISS033-E-12648.JPG 249335540338 Yes Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site
View ISS033-E-12648.JPG 4798451440960 No Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site
View ISS033-E-12648.JPG 8557531000626 No Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site
View ISS033-E-12648.JPG 135910042882848 No No

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Identification

Mission: ISS033 Roll: E Frame: 12648 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS033
Country or Geographic Name: GALAPAGOS ISLANDS
Features: ISLA SANTIAGO, SANTIAGO VOLCANO, LAVA FLOWS, TUFF CONES
Center Point: Latitude: -0.2 Longitude: -90.7 (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:

Camera

Camera Tilt: 02
Camera Focal Length: 180mm
Camera: N2: Nikon D2Xs
Film: 4288E : 4288 x 2848 pixel CMOS sensor, RGBG imager color filter.

Quality

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

Nadir

GMT Date: 20121018 (YYYYMMDD) GMT Time: 192127 (HHMMSS)
Nadir Point Latitude: -0.1, Longitude: -90.8 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)

Nadir to Photo Center Direction: Southeast
Sun Azimuth: 246 (Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point)
Spacecraft Altitude: 230 nautical miles (426 km)
Sun Elevation Angle: 65 (Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point)
Orbit Number:

Captions

Isla Santiago, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

The island of Santiago is located near the center of the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador. The Galapagos Islands are situated near the equator, and were formed from volcanism related to a large mantle plume (also known as a hot spot). This hot spot is very close to the tectonic boundary between the Galapagos Ridge, a plate boundary that is also an oceanic spreading center, and the Nazca and Cocos plates. This combination of mantle plumes and tectonic plate movements produces a unique geological environment, including underwater ridges of volcanoes that influence the water circulation around the Galapagos. All of these aspects contribute to the geology and biology of the Galapagos.

Isla Santiago itself is formed from a shield volcano also called Santiago. This type of volcanic structure is recognized by low, flat summits surrounded by extensive flow fields of lava; the lava is not very viscous, so it can flow for great distances from the source vents. Several dark lava flow fields are visible in this astronaut photograph, the largest along the eastern, western, and southern coastlines (not all flows are marked). The small Isla Rábida to the south of Isla Santiago is the peak of another, mostly submerged shield volcano.

In addition to the lava flows, other volcanic features known as tuff cones are visible on the eastern and western sides of the island. These cones are formed from the rapid interaction of hot flowing lava and water. The water underneath the lava flow flashes to steam explosively, and this both fragments the lava and rapidly cools it, leading to the formation of cones of glassy, relatively fine-grained volcanic material. The most recent volcanic activity on Isla Santiago occurred during 1904 – 1906.

The summit ridge of the Santiago shield volcano is located in the northwestern part of the island (image center). Also at image center is a large but isolated region of green vegetation primarily located on the south-facing slope below the summit ridge. This image was taken during the dry, or garύa, season that lasts from June to November. The season is dominated by cooler air transported by the Southeast Trade winds and cooler waters from the Humboldt and Cromwell currents. The combination of cool air and water results in rain falling only in the island highlands, with south- and east-facing slopes receiving the most precipitation. Despite the favorable topographic location, the yellow green color of the vegetation may indicate water (or other) stress.


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