Browse image
Resolutions offered for this image:
1000 x 664 pixels 540 x 359 pixels 720 x 480 pixels 4256 x 2913 pixels 640 x 438 pixels
Cloud masks available for this image:
Binary Heatmap

Spacecraft nadir point: 26.1° N, 74.5° W

Photo center point: 24.4° N, 75.6° W

Photo center point by machine learning:

Nadir to Photo Center: Southwest

Spacecraft Altitude: 186 nautical miles (344km)
Click for Google map
Width Height Annotated Cropped Purpose Links
1000 pixels 664 pixels No Yes Earth From Space collection Download Image
540 pixels 359 pixels Yes Yes Earth From Space collection Download Image
720 pixels 480 pixels Yes Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site Download Image
4256 pixels 2913 pixels No No Download Image
640 pixels 438 pixels No No Download Image
Other options available:
Download Packaged File
Download a Google Earth KML for this Image
View photo footprint information
Download a GeoTIFF for this photo
Image Caption: Cat Island, Commonwealth of the Bahamas

Note: This caption refers to the image versions labeled "NASA's Earth Observatory web site".

Cat Island is one of 29 islands, 661 cays, and 2,387 islets that form the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. Mount Alvernia, the highest point in the Bahamas at an elevation of approximately 63 meters above sea level, is located on the southeastern part of the island. Like most other islands in the Bahamas, Cat Island is located on a large depositional platform that is composed mainly of carbonate sediments and surrounding reefs. The approximately 77 km long island is the part of the platform continuously exposed above the water surface; this allows for soil development (brown to tan areas in the image) and establishment of vegetation (green areas) to occur.

Shallow water to the west-southwest of the island appears bright blue in this astronaut photograph (image center) in contrast to the deeper ocean waters to the north, east, and south. The ocean surface near the southeastern half of the island has a slight grey tinge; this is due to sunglint, or light reflecting off of the water surface backs towards the astronaut observer on board the International Space Station. Small white cumulus clouds obscure some parts of the island.

Named San Salvador prior to 1925, the island has been put forward as a candidate for Christopher Columbus' first landfall in the Americas. Cat Island is inhabited, and had a total population of 1647 in 2000 according to the Department of Statistics of the Bahamas. The smaller island of Little San Salvador to the west is privately owned and used as a port of call for cruise ships.