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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 STS008-33-993.JPG 30428640480 No No ISD 1
View STS008-33-993.JPG 66670540474 Yes Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site
View STS008-33-993.JPG 127751343934600 No No From ISD TIFF images
View STS008-33-993.JPG 161955400351 Yes Yes Photographic Highlights

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Mission: STS008 Roll: 33 Frame: 993 Mission ID on the Film or image: S08
Country or Geographic Name: BOTSWANA
Center Point: Latitude: -18.0 Longitude: 25.0 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)

Stereo: Yes (Yes indicates there is an adjacent picture of the same area)
ONC Map ID: P04 JNC Map ID:


Camera Tilt: Low Oblique
Camera Focal Length: 100mm
Camera: HB: Hasselblad
Film: 6017 : Kodak Ektachrome 64, 220 Roll Format.


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


GMT Date: 1983____ (YYYYMMDD) GMT Time: (HHMMSS)
Nadir Point Latitude: , Longitude: (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)
Nadir to Photo Center Direction:
Sun Azimuth: (Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point)
Spacecraft Altitude: nautical miles (0 km)
Sun Elevation Angle: (Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point)
Orbit Number: 33


At the junction of the Chobe and Zambezi Rivers, Botswana, increasing elephant populations are having large impacts on local vegetation. Scientists working in the region used spectral analysis of an astronaut photograph digitized from film to identify areas where woodland vegetation had been heavily damaged by the elephants. The technique used the analysis of texture of the red band (or channel) in the image. In the image above, the natural color photo has been combined with a texture analysis of the red band. The lighter colored areas near the labels a, b and c represent the areas with the heaviest elephant damage. Field teams working on the ground verified the presence of damage.

This image is one of the examples of the applications of astronaut photography to conservation biology presented in a paper by Robinson et al. in the August 2001 issue of the scientific journal Conservation Biology. The paper is part of a special section on “Contributions of Remote Sensing to Biodiversity Conservation” ( featuring a number of different NASA-sponsored studies.

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