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  Image: Geographic Location Direction Photo #: ISS012-E-9567 Date: Nov. 2005
Geographic Region: USA-TEXAS
Feature: HOUSTON SHIP CHAN., REFINERIES

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  Houston Ship Channel, Texas

This astronaut photograph depicts the San Jacinto River portion of the Houston Ship Channel, one of the United States’ busiest sea ports. The channel is a conduit between the continental interior and the Gulf of Mexico for both petrochemical products and Midwestern grain. The original watercourse for the channel, Buffalo Bayou, has its headwaters thirty miles to the west of the city of Houston. It has been used to move goods to the sea since at least 1836. Wakes of ships traveling along the channel are visible to the south of the Goat Islands (bright, oblong islands at top center of image). The close proximity to Texas oilfields led to the establishment of numerous petrochemical refineries along the waterway, such as the ExxonMobil Baytown installation on the eastern bank of the San Jacinto River.

While much of the Ship Channel is associated with heavy industry, two icons of Texas history are also located along its length. The inset (area denoted by white rectangle) highlights the battleship USS Texas and the San Jacinto Monument. The Texas saw service during both World Wars, and is the last remaining example of a dreadnought-class battleship in existence. The nearby San Jacinto Monument commemorates the 1836 battle in which Texas won its independence from Mexico. The monument itself is a 570-foot-high (173-meter) shaft topped by a 34-foot-high (10-meter) star, making it 15 feet (5 meters) higher than the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C.

The Houston Ship Channel has been periodically widened and deepened to accommodate ever-larger ships, and is currently 530 feet wide by 45 feet deep by 50 miles long (161 meters by 14 meters by 80 kilometers). The islands in the ship channel are part of the ongoing widening and deepening project. The islands are formed from soil pulled up by dredging, and the salt marshes and bird islands are part of the Houston Port Authority’s beneficial use and environmental mitigation responsibilities.

 
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Images: All Available Images Low-Resolution 367k
Mission: ISS012  
Roll - Frame: E - 9567
Geographical Name: USA-TEXAS  
Features: HOUSTON SHIP CHAN., REFINERIES  
Center Lat x Lon: 29.7N x 95.1W
Film Exposure:   N=Normal exposure, U=Under exposed, O=Over exposed, F=out of Focus
Percentage of Cloud Cover-CLDP: 10
 
Camera: E4
 
Camera Tilt: 31   LO=Low Oblique, HO=High Oblique, NV=Near Vertical
Camera Focal Length: 800  
 
Nadir to Photo Center Direction: N   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: 160  
 
Date: 20051128   YYYYMMDD
Time: 211343   GMT HHMMSS
Nadir Lat: 28.0N  
Latitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Nadir Lon: 94.3W  
Longitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Sun Azimuth: 228   Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point
Space Craft Altitude: 191   nautical miles
Sun Elevation: 23   Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point
Land Views:  
Water Views: CHANNEL, GULF, RIVER, SEA  
Atmosphere Views:  
Man Made Views: PORT  
City Views: BAYTOWN, HOUSTON, BUFFALO, WASHINGTON  
Photo is not associated with any sequences


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