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  Image: Geographic Location Direction Photo #: ISS051-E-12869 Date: Apr. 2017
Geographic Region: SWITZERLAND

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  View Low-Resolution Image  
  Image Caption: Bellinzona, Switzerland

An astronaut aboard the International Space Station took this photograph of the Ticino River as it winds through Bellinzona Commune in the Lepontine Alps, Switzerland. The afternoon sunlight highlights the western mountain faces and contrasts with the mountain shadows, creating image depth and dimension.

Settlements like this one are typical of the Alpine foothills because of the flat land in the valley. Bellinzona City is the capital of Canton Ticino, the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland. The Ticino River empties into Lake Maggiore, the largest lake in southern Switzerland, approximately 14 kilometers (9 miles) from the city.

Switzerland is a federal state, meaning powers are divided amongst the confederation, cantons, and communes. The communes are the smallest political entity, but they have their own parliaments. Communes will sometimes consolidate regulation of schools and welfare, energy supplies, roads, local planning, and local taxation. Prior to 2017, there were at least fifteen communes identifiable in this image. On April 2, 2017, an aggregation combined smaller municipalities into one commune named Bellinzona. Most map annotations do not reflect this recent change. The number of communes in Canton Ticino have been reduced by half in the past eight years.

There are three UNESCO World Heritage sites in Bellinzona: Castelgrande, Montebello, and Sasso Corbaro. A defensive wall (referred to as the murata) links the castles and recalls the Medieval period, when this tactical Alpine pass was protected from outsiders traveling to northern Italy.

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Images: All Available Images Low-Resolution 560k
Mission: ISS051  
Roll - Frame: E - 12869
Geographical Name: SWITZERLAND  
Center Lat x Lon: 46.2N x 9.0E
Film Exposure:   N=Normal exposure, U=Under exposed, O=Over exposed, F=out of Focus
Percentage of Cloud Cover-CLDP: 10
Camera: N6
Camera Tilt: 26   LO=Low Oblique, HO=High Oblique, NV=Near Vertical
Camera Focal Length: 1150  
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:  
Date: 20170412   YYYYMMDD
Time: 135949   GMT HHMMSS
Nadir Lat: 46.6N  
Latitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Nadir Lon: 10.7E  
Longitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Sun Azimuth: 236   Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point
Space Craft Altitude: 213   nautical miles
Sun Elevation: 39   Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point
Land Views:  
Water Views:  
Atmosphere Views:  
Man Made Views:  
City Views:  
Photo is not associated with any sequences

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