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STS027-39-27
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Spacecraft nadir point: 22.2° N, 85.1° E

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Spacecraft Altitude: 241 nautical miles (446km)
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Image Caption: STS027-039-027 Himalaya Mountains and Northeast India December 1988
This high-oblique, northeast-looking photograph of northeast India and a small part of the Tibetan Plateau of China provides a view of various landforms. Visible is a segment of the east-west trending Himalayas, the world's highest mountain range, with many ridgelines and peaks exceeding 20 000 feet (6095 meters). These mountains were created by the dramatic collision of the Australian-Indian Plate and the Eurasian Plate. The water levels of numerous blue lakes on the high plateau of Tibet are primarily maintained by meltwater from the snow and glaciers of the high Himalayas. Immediately north of these lakes, elevations rise to more than 15 000 feet (4710 meters). In contrast to the arid Tibetan Plateau is the Brahmaputra River valley of northeast India, the world's second wettest spot (the island of Kauai, Hawaii, is the wettest). Most of the rainfall occurs in the Brahmaputra valley during the monsoon season of northeast India. The Brahmaputra River with its braided multichannels bends south around the Kasi Hills of northeast India. A small part of the highly populated Ganges River Plain is visible along the southern edge of the photograph.