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  Image: Geographic Location Direction Photo #: ISS005-E-21572 Date: Nov. 2002
Geographic Region: AUSTRALIA-Q
Feature: PLANKTON BLOOM, LINEAR

Ordering information for space photography
 
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  View Low-Resolution Image  
  Detailed imagery taken by astronauts from the International Space Station (ISS) provides a new way of looking at many features on the Earth’s surface. This image captures a plankton bloom in the Capricorn Channel off the Queensland coast of Australia. The whispy pattern of the bloom suggests that the plankton are Trichodesmium—a photosynthetic cyanobacteria, also called “sea saw dust” that is common in the world’s oceans. Trichodesmium is frequently observed around Australia this time of year. In fact, Captain Cook’s ship logs written while he was sailing in Australian waters in the 1700s contain detailed descriptions of Trichodesmium blooms. Trichodesmium species are particularly important because of their role as primary producers: by sheer abundance, they fix a large amount of CO2 and N2.

Astronauts frequently photograph large plankton blooms during their missions because a significant portion of the ISS orbits cross long stretches of ocean. In the process, astronauts become acute observers of subtle changes in sea surface dynamics. Imagery of surface plankton blooms are multi-dimensional (in space and time) visualizations for the unique physical and chemical circumstances that support the blooms. Astronauts are trained and encouraged to document phytoplankton blooms, and to make repeated observations to better understand the longevity and temporal variations of the blooms. Only recently have astronauts had the capability of documenting these ocean features at high resolution—we estimate that each pixel in this image represents a square with sides of 6-8 m. The inset box shows zooms in on part of the bloom to illustrate the level of detail available.
 
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Images: All Available Images Low-Resolution 44k
Mission: ISS005  
Roll - Frame: E - 21572
Geographical Name: AUSTRALIA-Q  
Features: PLANKTON BLOOM, LINEAR  
Center Lat x Lon: N x E
Film Exposure:   N=Normal exposure, U=Under exposed, O=Over exposed, F=out of Focus
Percentage of Cloud Cover-CLDP: 25
 
Camera: E4
 
Camera Tilt: LO   LO=Low Oblique, HO=High Oblique, NV=Near Vertical
Camera Focal Length: 800  
 
Nadir to Photo Center Direction: W   The direction from the nadir to the center point, N=North, S=South, E=East, W=West
Stereo?:   Y=Yes there is an adjacent picture of the same area, N=No there isn't
Orbit Number: 2949  
 
Date: 20021127   YYYYMMDD
Time: 050711   GMT HHMMSS
Nadir Lat: 22.5S  
Latitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Nadir Lon: 152.6E  
Longitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Sun Azimuth: 261   Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point
Space Craft Altitude: 215   nautical miles
Sun Elevation: 41   Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point
Land Views: COAST  
Water Views: CHANNEL, OCEAN, PLANKTON BLOOM  
Atmosphere Views:  
Man Made Views:  
City Views:  
Photo is not associated with any sequences


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