ISS042-E-16183

Browse image
Resolutions offered for this image:
1000 x 1022 pixels 540 x 552 pixels 3280 x 3280 pixels 720 x 720 pixels 3280 x 4928 pixels 426 x 640 pixels
Cloud masks available for this image:
Binary Heatmap

Spacecraft nadir point: 25.7° N, 10.7° E

Photo center point: 24.5° N, 14.5° E

Nadir to Photo Center: East

Spacecraft Altitude: 220 nautical miles (407km)
Click for Google map
Width Height Annotated Cropped Purpose Links
1000 pixels 1022 pixels No Yes Earth From Space collection Download Image
540 pixels 552 pixels Yes Yes Earth From Space collection Download Image
3280 pixels 3280 pixels No No NASA's Earth Observatory web site Download Image
720 pixels 720 pixels Yes Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site Download Image
3280 pixels 4928 pixels No No Download Image
426 pixels 640 pixels No No Download Image
Other options available:
Download Packaged File
Download a Google Earth KML for this Image
View photo footprint information
Image Caption: Marzuq Sand Sea, Libya

This picture of the central Sahara Desert was taken from the International Space Station shortly after sunrise. Tan colors of the vast, circular Marzuq Sand Sea in the foreground (300 km across, or 190 miles) contrast with the black lavas of the Tibesti Mountains near the horizon. The Sand Sea is one of the most recognizable features for orbiting astronauts, partly because they see it often under the cloudless Saharan skies.

Taken with a 17 mm lens, this view replicates closely what the human eye sees--unlike the detailed images commonly taken by Space Station crews for scientists. This lens gives a strong three dimensional sense--because the Earth curves away visibly toward the horizon, and the few clouds cast shadows toward the camera. The lens even captures the effect of different sun elevation in one view. The eastern Sahara on the horizon is in full daylight but the Sand Sea in the foreground is darker where sun is just rising.