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  Image: Geographic Location Direction Photo #: ISS064-E-44615 Date: Mar. 2021
Geographic Region: NEW ZEALAND-SI

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An astronaut onboard the International Space Station shot this photograph of the Southern Alps. This mountain range forms the spine of New Zealand's South Island, where plate tectonics and glaciers have dramatically shaped the land through earthquakes, mountain building, and erosion.

New Zealand's highest peak, Aoraki Mount Cook, reaches 3,724 meters (12,218 feet) above sea level. South of Aoraki, puffy clouds fill a major valley. Rivers run through deep glacial valleys; their tan and gray colors are due to the load of sediment (including glacial flour) they carry down from the mountains.

Along the west coast, wide river channels travel short distances from the Alps to the sea. On the east side, the rivers run through deep valleys and into a series of turquoise, parallel lakes that were originally carved out by large glaciers. Around 20,000 years ago, during the most recent glacial maximum, most of this area was covered by massive glaciers that later scraped and scoured the surface when they retreated.

The Southern Alps create an orographic effect that separates New Zealand’s wettest and driest climates. The narrow strip of green, vegetated land along the coast receives the country's highest annual rainfall due to westerlies that blow in from the Tasman Sea and drop their moisture as they run into the mountains. In contrast, New Zealand's driest areas lie just southeast of the mountains, where the brightly colored lakes stand out against the dry, tan landscapes.

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Images: All Available Images Low-Resolution 135k
Mission: ISS064  
Roll - Frame: E - 44615
Geographical Name: NEW ZEALAND-SI  
Center Lat x Lon: 43.8S x 170.0E
Film Exposure:   N=Normal exposure, U=Under exposed, O=Over exposed, F=out of Focus
Percentage of Cloud Cover-CLDP: 10
Camera: N8
Camera Tilt: 5   LO=Low Oblique, HO=High Oblique, NV=Near Vertical
Camera Focal Length: 95  
Nadir to Photo Center Direction: NE   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: 20210318   YYYYMMDD
Time: 205108   GMT HHMMSS
Nadir Lat: 44.1S  
Latitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Nadir Lon: 169.8E  
Longitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Sun Azimuth: 68   Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point
Space Craft Altitude: 230   nautical miles
Sun Elevation: 22   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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This service is provided by the International Space Station program and the JSC Earth Science & Remote Sensing Unit, ARES Division, Exploration Integration Science Directorate.
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