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Spacecraft nadir point: 34.8° N, 111.5° W

Photo center point: 32.5° N, 106.5° W

Nadir to Photo Center: East

Spacecraft Altitude: 207 nautical miles (383km)
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Image Caption: NM23-761-677 Rio Grande Valley, Texas and New Mexico, USA Winter-Spring 1997
Many major natural features, as well as a few human modified landscapes are observed in this synoptic view that shows extreme west Texas, south central New Mexico, and a very small part of Mexico southwest of Ciudad Juarez. The intensively cultivated (irrigated) floodplain of the Rio Grande can be discerned (darker, linear swath) that crosses the picture from northwest to southeast. The Salt Basin of west Texas (small, highly reflective area near the east edge of the image); the much larger and brighter (also highly reflective) White Sands National Monument (the world's largest gypsum dunefield) in south central New Mexico; and the highly reflective salt flats in Mexico (southwest quadrant of the picture) confirms that the entire scene is a desert environment. The San Andres Mountains and the larger, darker Sacramento Mountains (densely forested) border White Sands west and east respectively. The location of El Paso (TX) and Las Cruces (NM) plus El Paso's twin city in Mexico, Ciudad Juarez, can be identified. There is also a small area of irrigated agriculture, mainly center pivot, along the northwest edge of the Salt Basin immediately west of the Guadalupe Mountains (eastern edge of image).