Browse image
Resolutions offered for this image:
1000 x 666 pixels 540 x 360 pixels 4928 x 3280 pixels 720 x 480 pixels 4928 x 3280 pixels 640 x 426 pixels
Cloud masks available for this image:

Spacecraft nadir point: 42.5° N, 167.0° W

Photo center point: 25.4° N, 101.0° W

Nadir to Photo Center: East

Spacecraft Altitude: 222 nautical miles (411km)
Click for Google map
Width Height Annotated Cropped Purpose Links
1000 pixels 666 pixels No No Earth From Space collection Download Image
540 pixels 360 pixels Yes No Earth From Space collection Download Image
4928 pixels 3280 pixels No No NASA's Earth Observatory web site Download Image
720 pixels 480 pixels Yes No NASA's Earth Observatory web site Download Image
4928 pixels 3280 pixels No No Download Image
640 pixels 426 pixels No No Download Image
Other options available:
Download Packaged File
Download a Google Earth KML for this Image
View photo footprint information
Georeferenced by human interaction - exported 2017-08-23-215917-UTC
An explanation of the georeference file(s) above
Image Caption: Saltillo and the Sierra Madre Oriental

Looking down directly below the International Space Station, one of the astronauts took this image of the Mexican city of Saltillo, whose gray cityscape appears image center. The urban region (823,000 inhabitants) is the largest city in the Mexican state of Coahuila and capital of the state, sometimes called the "Athens of Mexico" for its classical architecture. Founded in 1577, it is also one of the oldest post-conquest cities in Mexico. Saltillo lies on the doorstep of the Chihuahuan Desert, which appears as the tan colors west of the city (image left).

The city obtains its water from the high, well-watered mountains to the east (image right) that reach altitudes of more than 12,000 feet (3700 m). These prominent, straight or slightly curved green ridges are the oak-covered slopes of the Sierra Madre Oriental. These characteristic ridges immediately indicate to astronauts that they are flying over northern Mexico. The distinctive topography is the result of a mountain-building event about 60 million years ago which folded and faulted thick layers of rocks, modified by later erosion. Saltillo is located on a fault zone, visible as an approximately straight line across the center of the image, that separates the Sierra from the meandering shapes of low desert hills.