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Spacecraft nadir point: 1.5° N, 132.7° W

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Spacecraft Altitude: 124 nautical miles (230km)
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Image Caption: STS46-077-017 Equatorial Pacific Front
This Equatorial Pacific Front, photographed in the sunglint pattern at approximately 2.5N, 132W, is very near a JGOFS (Joint Global Ocean Flux Study) site. Researchers have expressed much interest in this photography. The reason why these fronts occur is currently under study. This and other views like this from other shuttle missions show that this phenomena is nearly perpendicular to the equatorial currents and countercurrents. One theory is that eddies spawned from the equatorial currents have jets of water between them creating this surface convergence area. It has been reported by fisherman that when this "river" in the ocean occurs that it is very loud and the fishing is bad. Photographed 07 Aug 1993, at 19:23 GMT, from an altitude of 123 n mi., using a Hasselblad camera equipped with a 250 mm lens and CVIS film.

A demarcation line identifies a convergence in the Pacific Ocean (1.5N, 133.0W) where two open ocean currents have interfaced. This interface phenomena was first observed in the White Sea by Soviet cosmonauts who coined the term `Suloy' to describe the event. At the actual interface, there is usually a slight upwelling as the currents clash, causing a shadow effect that can be observed and an audible hissing sound as the currents meet head on.