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Photographing the Earth from the International Space Station

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File NameFile Size (bytes)WidthHeightAnnotatedCroppedPurposeComments
View ISS033-E-22852.JPG 82485640426 No No
View ISS033-E-22852.JPG 293117540351 Yes Yes
View ISS033-E-22852.JPG 72443514401080 No Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site
View ISS033-E-22852.JPG 8291281000650 No Yes
View ISS033-E-22852.JPG 100778442562832 No No

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Mission: ISS033 Roll: E Frame: 22852 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS033
Country or Geographic Name: JAPAN
Center Point: Latitude: 32.9 Longitude: 131.1 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)

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


Camera Tilt: 36
Camera Focal Length: 400mm
Camera: N5: Nikon D3S
Film: 4256E : 4256 x 2832 pixel CMOS sensor, 36.0mm x 23.9mm, total pixels: 12.87 million, Nikon FX format.


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


GMT Date: 20121118 (YYYYMMDD) GMT Time: 024043 (HHMMSS)
Nadir Point Latitude: 30.3, Longitude: 131.8 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)

Nadir to Photo Center Direction: North
Sun Azimuth: 175 (Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point)
Spacecraft Altitude: 226 nautical miles (419 km)
Sun Elevation Angle: 40 (Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point)
Orbit Number:


Aso Caldera, Kyushu, Japan

Note: This caption refers to the image versions labeled "NASA's Earth Observatory web site".

This astronaut photograph highlights the 24-km wide Aso caldera on the Japanese Island of Kyushu, formed during four explosive eruptions that took place from 300,000 to 90,000 years ago. These major eruptions produced pyroclastic flows and airfall tephra that covered much of Kyushu. As the eruptions emptied the magma chambers beneath the ancient volcanoes, they collapsed – forming the caldera. Shadows highlight the caldera rim at image right, while green vegetation covers slopes between the rim and caldera floor at image left.

Volcanic activity continued in the caldera following its formation, represented by 17 younger volcanoes including Naka-dake at image center. Naka-dake is one of Japan’s most active volcanoes, with ash plumes produced from the summit crater as recently as June 2011. Another prominent crater, Kusasenri, is visible to the west of Naka-dake. This crater is the site of the Aso Volcano Museum as well as pasture for cows and horses.

The Aso caldera floor is largely occupied by urban and agricultural land uses that present a gray to white speckled appearance in the image. Fields and cities surround the younger volcanic structures in the caldera center to the north, west, and south. Tan to yellow-brown regions along the crater rim, and along the lower slopes of the younger volcanic highlands in the central caldera, are lacking the dense tree cover indicated by greener areas in the image.

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