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The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth
(NASA Crew Earth Observations)
Astronaut Photography of Earth - Display Record
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IdentificationMission: ISS038 Roll: E Frame: 5515 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS038
Country or Geographic Name: RUSSIAN FEDERATION
Features: KLIUCHEVSKOI VOLCANO, ERUPTION PLUME, BEZYMIANNY VOLCANO, TOBALCHIK VOLCANO
Center Point: Latitude: 56.1 Longitude: 161.3 (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:
CameraCamera Tilt: High Oblique
Camera Focal Length: 1200mm
Camera: N4: Nikon D3X
Film: 6048E : 6048 x 4032 pixel CMOS sensor, 35.9mm x 24.0mm, total pixels: 25.72 million, Nikon FX format.
Percentage of Cloud Cover: 10 (0-10)
GMT Date: 20131116 (YYYYMMDD) GMT Time: 233156 (HHMMSS)
Nadir Point Latitude: 47.1, Longitude: 144.2 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)
Nadir to Photo Center Direction: Northeast
Sun Azimuth: 142 (Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point)
Spacecraft Altitude: 221 nautical miles (409 km)
Sun Elevation Angle: 15 (Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point)
CaptionsActivity at Kliuchevskoi Volcano, Kamchatka Peninsula, Russian Federation
When viewing conditions are favorable, astronauts on board the International Space Station (ISS) can take unusual and striking images of the Earth. This astronaut photograph provides a view of an eruption plume emanating from Kliuchevskoi Volcano, one of the many active volcanoes on the Kamchatka Peninsula. Nadir views – looking “straight down”—that are typical of orbital satellite imagery tend to flatten the appearance of the landscape by reducing the sense of three dimensions of the topography.
In contrast, this image was taken from the ISS with a very oblique viewing angle that gives a strong sense of three dimensions, which is accentuated by the shadows cast by the volcanic peaks. This resulted in a view similar to what a person might see from a low-altitude airplane. The image was taken when the ISS was located over a ground position more than 1500 km to the southwest.
The plume – likely a combination of steam, volcanic gases, and ash – is extended to the east-southeast by prevailing winds; the dark region to the north-northwest of the plume is likely a product of both shadow and ash settling out. Several other volcanoes are visible in the image, including Ushkovsky, Tolbachik, Zimina, and Udina. To the south-southwest of Kliuchevskoi lies Bezymianny Volcano which appears to be emitting a small steam plume (visible at image center).
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Recommended Citation: Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA-Johnson Space Center. "The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth." .