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Spacecraft nadir point: 23.5° N, 86.1° E

Photo center point: 22.5° N, 90.5° E

Nadir to Photo Center: East

Spacecraft Altitude: 241 nautical miles (446km)
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Image Caption: STS027-39-28 Ganges-Brahmaputra River Delta, Bangladesh and India December 1988
The great Ganges-Brahmaputra River Delta of Bangladesh and India is the subject of this east-looking, oblique photograph. As the rivers empty, they carry large quantities of sediment into the Bay of Bengal. The delta (center of the photograph) is over 220 miles (350 kilometers) wide along the Bay of Bengal. The darker colored mangrove forests of the Sundarbans, a great wilderness of swamps, dense timber forests, small islands, and tidal creeks covering 6526 square miles (16 900 square kilometers), occupy the middle of the delta. The Sundarbans, a vast wildlife preserve, is one of the few remaining sanctuaries in India that is home of the world-famous Bengal tiger. The delta stretches from the Hooghly River in India (west of the Sundarbans) eastward to the Meghna River in Bangladesh. The Ganges, the most sacred river of Hindu India, can be seen in the photograph as it runs north of the Sundarbans, joining with the Brahmaputra River just west of Dacca (not distinguishable in the photograph). The dark, forested Khasi Hills are situated northeast of the convergence of the Ganges River and the Brahmaputra River. During the summer monsoon (late June through early October), tropical cyclones can form in the southern Bay of Bengal, proceed northward, and make landfall over the delta region, causing flooding, heavy damage to crops and shelters, and loss of human life.