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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: STS111 Roll: E Frame: 5485 Mission ID on the Film or image: STS111
Country or Geographic Name: TURKMENISTAN
Features: KARA-BOGAZ-GOL, CHANNEL, SUNGLINT
Center Point: Latitude: 41.0 Longitude: 53.0 (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: 400mm
Camera: E4: Kodak DCS760C Electronic Still Camera
Film: 3060E : 3060 x 2036 pixel CCD, RGBG array.
Percentage of Cloud Cover: 10 (0-10)
GMT Date: 20020617 (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)
CaptionsThe large eastern embayment of the Caspian Sea, the Zaliv Kara-Bogaz-Gol, provides astronauts the chance to observe several oceanographic phenomena. This view taken by the STS-111 crew from the Space Shuttle in June 2002 shows the sun reflecting off the surface waters that surround the spit that defines the Zaliv Kara-Bogaz-Gol from the open Caspian Sea. The sunglint reveals the flow of fresher water through the spit channel and into the bay. Old shorelines and accretionary features can be seen on the spit, as well as the dam that was constructed in 1980 to stop the flow into the lower Kara-Bogaz-Gol basin.
The Caspian Sea has experienced dramatic changes in water levels throughout the past 100 years. From the 1930s until 1978, the water levels in the Caspian had dropped nearly 3 m. In 1980, in response to the rapidly dropping sea level, a dam was constructed to prevent water from flowing into the shallow and restricted Kara-Bogaz-Gol basin, resulting in the drying up of the bay. The dam was partially opened a few years later, and completely opened in 1992 when Caspian water levels started to rise quickly. Today, sea levels are more than 2.6 m higher than the 1978 levels, and, as shown here, water flows freely into the salty waters of the Zaliv Kara-Bogaz-Gol. Astronauts have also been documenting the coastlines around the Caspian Sea that have been impacted by the large sea level fluctuations.
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Recommended Citation: Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA-Johnson Space Center. "The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth." .