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STS026-31-88
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Spacecraft nadir point: 24.7° N, 164.4° W

Photo center point: 24.0° N, 165.5° W

Nadir to Photo Center: Southwest

Spacecraft Altitude: 167 nautical miles (309km)
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Image Caption: Collapsing Cumulus off French Frigate Shoals
French Frigate Shoals is a remnant coral atoll on a volcanic
cone that is part of the Hawaiian Archipelago. The circular
patches in the ocean are caused by mature storm convection
cells collapsing and producing strong downdrafts. The air
rushes down in cylindrical masses, creating shallow con-
shaped impressions on the water surface. It is unusual to
find so many of different sizes grouped together; here they
range in size from 5 to 25 km across. It has been estimated
that such water surface impressions last no more than 10 to
30 minutes. Taken from STS-26 (Sep 88) with a 100 mm lens.