ISS057-E-115019
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Spacecraft nadir point: 50.1° N, 80.5° W

Photo center point: 51.4° N, 80.3° W

Nadir to Photo Center: North

Spacecraft Altitude: 214 nautical miles (396km)
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Image Caption: Icy Moose River

An astronaut shot this photograph of the chilly Moose River in Ontario while orbiting near the northernmost latitude limits (51.6 degrees N) of the International Space Station. The mouth of the river was partially frozen, with flowing water pushing ice into James Bay, a southern extension of Hudson Bay. Landfast ice, or fixed shore ice, extended up to 7 kilometers (4 miles) from the land.


The freeze-up of James Bay occurs annually from late November to early January. This image, taken in December 2018, shows ice growth in the midst of its freezing season in northern Ontario. Ice begins to form along tidal mudflats, where the water is fresher and shallower, and slowly continues to grow north into more saline bay waters.


In the photo, landfast ice surrounding the Moose River outlet has a brighter white color and floats closer to shore. The grey colored ice out in the bay is thinner and younger. Ice floes forming in the Moose River are carried into James Bay and are broken up by currents.


While this frozen landscape appears uninviting, nearby communities like Moosonee need below-freezing temperatures to build ice roads. Planes are necessary for travel between small towns along the James Bay during the short summers, but the construction of winter ice roads creates a rough connectivity for supplies and people in northern Ontario.