Return to Earth From Space Home
Earth from Space logo Image Information Earth from Space logo

Display a Screen Layout for Printing

IMAGE: gray corner       IMAGE: gray corner
  Image: Geographic Location Direction Photo #: ISS053-E-131276 Date: Oct. 2017
Geographic Region: ALGERIA

Ordering information for space photography
IMAGE: gray corner     IMAGE: gray corner

Image: gray corner     Image: gray corner
  View Low-Resolution Image  
  A Plateau of Chasms

While flying aboard the International Space Station, an astronaut took this photograph of the northwest corner of Tassili n'Ajjer National Park in Algeria. The darker sandstone plateau, Tassili n'Ajjer, curves around part of the Tifernine Dunes - a vast dune field of the Sahara Desert. The plateau stands a few hundred feet above the dunes below.

Tassili n'Ajjer translates to "plateau of chasms," a name that describes the deep fissures and canyons long ago cut into the rock by flowing water. The dune field below took shape after an ancient lake dried up. Tassili n'Ajjer is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with more than 15,000 prehistoric etchings and illustrations on the cave walls; these record a human presence as far back as 6000 BCE.

Geologists generally classify dunes into five basic types, and all but one (domes) are found in the Tifernine Dune Field. (Click hereto view a high-resolution photograph of the dunes.) The shape of a dune is an indication of regional wind patterns. In the case of Tassili n'Ajjer, the ridges on either side of the dune field block most of the sand particles from traveling over the plateau. This causes sand to pile up over time such that the dunes are sitting at a much higher elevation in the alcove than elsewhere in the dune field.

Image: gray corner     Image: gray corner

Images: All Available Images Low-Resolution 434k
Mission: ISS053  
Roll - Frame: E - 131276
Geographical Name: ALGERIA  
Center Lat x Lon: 26.8N x 6.8E
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: HO   LO=Low Oblique, HO=High Oblique, NV=Near Vertical
Camera Focal Length: 500  
Nadir to Photo Center Direction: S   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: 20171022   YYYYMMDD
Time: 151137   GMT HHMMSS
Nadir Lat: 35.4N  
Latitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Nadir Lon: 9.9E  
Longitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Sun Azimuth: 244   Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point
Space Craft Altitude: 216   nautical miles
Sun Elevation: 16   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

Home Page
Home Page
JSC Digital
Image Collection
Earth Science &
Remote Sensing

NASA meatball logo
This service is provided by the International Space Station program and the JSC Earth Science & Remote Sensing Unit, ARES Division, Exploration Integration Science Directorate.
ESRS logo