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Spacecraft nadir point: 36.0° N, 71.2° E

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Spacecraft Altitude: 167 nautical miles (309km)
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Image Caption: STS047-088-020 Hindu Kush Mountains, Pakistan September 1992
A section of one of the major mountain systems in central Asia, the Hindu Kush, is visible in this near-vertical view of rugged mountainous terrain in northern Pakistan and northeast Afghanistan. The region has snow and ice covered peaks, ridgelines, and deep, ice carved valleys. Many of the higher elevations throughout the region exceed 20000 feet (6096 meters) above sea level, while the valleys (darker-looking areas) are below 9000 feet (2745 meters) in elevation. Notice at the bottom of the image that the snow covered mountain ridges alternate with the glacial valleys (glaciers are visible in many valleys). The Wakhan Corridor (a mountainous area with several passes), a narrow strip of land that connects Afghanistan with western China, lies just off of the bottom edge of the image (northern flanks of the mountains). This is an excellent image to test your ability to discriminate clouds from the snow-covered mountains because of the clouds over the mountainous terrain in the top half of the picture. Shadows (dark areas) from clouds and from the mountainous relief obscure some of the landforms. The Matue River Valley can be identified along the top of the image.