[Skip to content]
ISS053-E-2095
Browse image
Resolutions offered for this image:
4928 x 3280 pixels 720 x 480 pixels 4928 x 3280 pixels 640 x 426 pixels
Cloud masks available for this image:
Binary Heatmap

Spacecraft nadir point: 47.4° N, 94.2° W

Photo center point: 47.0° N, 88.1° W

Nadir to Photo Center: East

Spacecraft Altitude: 216 nautical miles (400km)
Click for Google map
Width Height Annotated Cropped Purpose Links
4928 pixels 3280 pixels No No NASA's Earth Observatory web site Download Image
720 pixels 480 pixels Yes Yes 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
Image Caption: Shining Light on the Upper Peninsula

An astronaut aboard the International Space Station shot this photograph of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Morning sunglint silhouettes Lake Superior's shoreline and highlights smaller lakes and mine tailings ponds on the land.

The subdued, orange sunglint and hazy atmosphere may be due to wildfires that occurred in August 2017 throughout the northwestern United States and parts of Canada. Smoke particles in the atmosphere can cause the scattering of light waves and create pale orange-red hues at dusk or dawn, when Sun elevation is low relative to the local horizon.

The Upper Peninsula has long been known for its copper and iron resources, with native peoples mining Keweenaw copper as far back as 7,000 years ago. Modern iron mining began in the Upper Peninsula in 1845, with the Tilden Mine still in production today.

Logging was also prevalent in the Upper Peninsula from the mid-1800s to about 1900. Trees were cut in the winter and brought to rivers by sleigh. In spring time, when snowmelt fed the rivers, timber was floated downstream to be sorted. These logs were marked with axe-cut symbols - similar to cattle branding - to avoid confusion about ownership as the logs floated to lake ports.

This extensive logging left much of the Upper Peninsula without trees. In 1931, the Hiawatha and Ottawa National Forests were established in the area to promote reforestation, scientific forestry, and the protection of wildlife, soil, and water resources. Today, fishing in lakes and streams is a popular activity for locals and tourists. Lake Superior, Earth's largest freshwater lake by surface area, can be fished year round, including ice fishing in the winter.