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Spacecraft nadir point: 40.4° S, 175.8° W

Photo center point: 41.5° S, 174.5° E

Nadir to Photo Center: West

Spacecraft Altitude: 219 nautical miles (406km)
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Image Caption: New Zealand in sunglint

In this panoramic image taken by astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS), the sun's glint point highlights the detail of Cook Strait between New Zealand's North and South Islands. Crews looking west towards a setting sun were able to see this high-contrast detail even though the center of the glint point lay fully 1000 km away from the ISS.

Sunglint shows Wellington Bay (image center) -- where the capital city is located -- opening onto Cook Strait. Banks Peninsula, near the city of Christchurch, is the prominent cape (image left) whose characteristic shape is well known to ISS crews. Approaching cloud can be seen image top left. New Zealand is seldom photographed from orbit because it is one of the cloudier parts of planet, and because scheduled crew sleep periods often occur when the ISS passes over this part of the planet.