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ISS052-E-20541
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Spacecraft nadir point: 17.3° N, 109.6° E

Photo center point: 16.2° N, 122.9° E

Nadir to Photo Center: East

Spacecraft Altitude: 217 nautical miles (402km)
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Image Caption: Sunrise over the Philippine Sea
An astronaut aboard the International Space Station (ISS) took this photograph of the partial disc of the Sun just as it began to rise, creating a sheet of light across the horizon. Silhouetted clouds give the sense of a jumbled mountain range. Numerous individual layers of the atmosphere appear above the Sun from this perspective.

The photo was taken when the ISS was located over the coast of Vietnam. But as seen from about 400 kilometers (250 miles) above the surface of the Earth, the sunrise was actually rising over the Philippine Sea, far to the east of the Philippine archipelago.

Astronauts see sixteen sunrises every 24 hours. While it is never a good idea to look at the Sun directly without proper eye protection (either on Earth or from space), digital camera images such as this allow us the luxury of seeing this spectacle as the astronauts do.