Lake Baikal ice melts, Russia

In this late afternoon shot, the crew aboard the International Space Station looked back toward the setting sun and captured the hook-shaped southern half of Lake Baikal in eastern Russia. Most of the lake is covered with dull gray ice. The brightest point in the center of the image is the reflection of the sun's rays off a small zone of open water where the ice has begun to melt. Broken ice masses appear adjacent to the sunglint point. The sun's rays are also reflected off the water surface of the straight Angara River, the main outlet of the lake.

Lake Baikal is 636 km long (395 mi). It is the deepest lake in the world and holds the largest amount of fresh water. Individual smoke plumes arc away from the north shore (image top left). Large smoke palls from wildfires appear image upper right.

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