NM23-776-834

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Spacecraft nadir point: 49.9° N, 9.3° E

Photo center point: 45.5° N, 10.0° E

Nadir to Photo Center: South

Spacecraft Altitude: 208 nautical miles (385km)
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Image Caption: NM23-776-834 Italian Alps, Italy Winter/Spring 1997
Several elongated lakes (dark features) are identifiable in this southerly view of the Italian-Swiss border. The elongated lakes are the creation of alpine (or valley) glaciers that moved generally southward through this section of the Italian Alps over 12000 years ago. From west to east the four larger lakes are Maggiore (lower right corner), Lugana, Como, and d'Iseo (upper left corner). Smaller lakes (also dark features) are visible at the southern end of Lake Como (center of image) and Lake Maggiore. Subtle faults that are perpendicular to the southern end of the lakes can be traced east to west across the landscape at the base of the Italian Alps. Glaciated, U-shaped valleys are discernible north and northeast of the lakes. The color infrared helps to identify the densely vegetated mountain slopes where the forested land (green vegetation) is shown as concentrations of reddish patterns. The relatively flat plains of the highly industrialized and agriculturally productive Po River Valley (upper third of image) presents a dramatically different looking terrain than the snow covered mountainous region of northern Italy.