STS029-90-12
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Spacecraft nadir point: 22.7° N, 76.0° W

Photo center point: 24.0° N, 77.0° W

Nadir to Photo Center: Northwest

Spacecraft Altitude: 168 nautical miles (311km)
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Image Caption:
Shallow Banks and Deep Water Channels

This photograph of the eastern Bahamas, taken with the 50 mm
lens, captures many of the unique aspects of this region. From
east to west are the Florida Straits (1), separating the Bahamas
from the U.S. mainland. The Great Bahamas Banks (2) are composed
largely of the chemically precipitated CaCO3. Andros Island (3),
is the largest Bahamian Island. Note the many lakes and channels
cutting through the island. The Great Bahama Banks drop precipi-
tously into the Tongue of the Ocean (4), a 2000 m deep channel.
The smaller channels which funnel into the south end of the
Tongue of the Ocean (5) see very swift currents. Great Exuma Is-
land (6) and the Exuma chain (7) bound Exuma Sound (8). The sand
banks west of the Exuma Island chains are built by tidal currents
and change size and shape over time. The different poritions of
the banks support different marine communities. (STS-29-90-12)