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Spacecraft nadir point: 27.1° N, 89.7° E

Photo center point: 26.0° N, 89.5° E

Nadir to Photo Center: South

Spacecraft Altitude: 189 nautical miles (350km)
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Image Caption:
STS049-78-096 - Aircraft Contrail Over Northeastern India [Are
you sure you want to put north at the top? Because of the con-
trailUs shadow, having west at the top looks more natural to me.]

A remarkably clear, pre-monsoon photo of northeastern India, in
the Himalayan foothills near Nepal and the west Bengal border re-
gion (27.0! N, 88.6! E). This area has an annual average rain-
fall of 3-8 meters, most during the summer monsoon. The Tista
River is the major stream seen on this photo. There are two ma-
jor airports nearby--the contrail seen on the photo seems to be
related to the Bagdogra Airport (off the photo to the left).
Sharp boundaries between forest cover and agricultural land use
are clearly seen. Gentle slopes (medium green) are generally
used for tea cultivation. Foothills forests (dark green) are
dominated by subtropical pines and firs. The intensity of agri-
cultural land use, mostly small farms, on the Ganges Plain is
evident in the mottled brownish tones of this photograph.

This remarkably clear, pre-monsoon view of the Himalayan foothills of Bangladesh (26.0N, 89.5E) shows the deforestation of the lower slopes for agriculture and pasture lands. The cleared lower slopes are generally used for tea cultivation. The intensity of agricultural land use, mostly in the form of small, family subsistance farms on the Ganges Plain is evident over most of the scene. Note also, the aircraft contrail and Tista River.