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Photographing the Earth from the International Space Station

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File NameFile Size (bytes)WidthHeightAnnotatedCroppedPurposeComments
View ISS036-E-11034.JPG 91106640426 No No
View ISS036-E-11034.JPG 204543540359 Yes Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site
View ISS036-E-11034.JPG 5402691440960 No Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site
View ISS036-E-11034.JPG 5950451000665 No Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site
View ISS036-E-11034.JPG 162483542562832 No No

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Mission: ISS036 Roll: E Frame: 11034 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS036
Country or Geographic Name: MEXICO
Center Point: Latitude: 32.5 Longitude: -115.5 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)

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


Camera Tilt: 17
Camera Focal Length: 50mm
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: 20130621 (YYYYMMDD) GMT Time: 211531 (HHMMSS)
Nadir Point Latitude: 31.4, Longitude: -115.4 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)

Nadir to Photo Center Direction: North
Sun Azimuth: 255 (Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point)
Spacecraft Altitude: 220 nautical miles (407 km)
Sun Elevation Angle: 68 (Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point)
Orbit Number:


Salton Trough, USA and Mexico

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

The Imperial and Coachella Valleys of southern California – and the corresponding Mexicali Valley and Colorado River Delta in Mexico – are part of the Salton Trough, a large geologic structure known to geologists as a graben or rift valley that extends into the Gulf of California. The trough is a geologically complex zone formed by interaction of the San Andreas transform fault system that is, broadly speaking, moving southern California towards Alaska; and the northward motion of the Gulf of California segment of the East Pacific Rise that continues to widen the Gulf of California by sea-floor spreading.

Sediments deposited by the Colorado River have been filling the northern rift valley (the Salton Trough) for the past several million years, excluding the waters of the Gulf of California and providing a fertile environment – together with irrigation—for the development of extensive agriculture in the region (visible as green and yellow-brown fields at image center). The Salton Sea, a favorite landmark of astronauts in low earth orbit, was formed by an irrigation canal rupture in 1905, and today is sustained by agricultural runoff water.

A wide array of varying landforms and land uses in the Salton Trough are visible from space. In addition to the agricultural fields and Salton Sea, easily visible metropolitan areas include Yuma, AZ (image top left); Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico(image center); and the San Diego-Tijuana conurbation on the Pacific Coast (image left). The approximately 72 kilometer long Algodones Dunefield is visible at image top right.

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