STS049-87-35

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Spacecraft nadir point: 9.4° N, 49.2° E

Photo center point: 10.5° N, 51.0° E

Nadir to Photo Center: Northeast

Spacecraft Altitude: 193 nautical miles (357km)
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Image Caption: STS049-87-35 Hafun (Raas Xaafuun) Peninsula, Somalia May 1992
This near-vertical, color infrared photograph of the Hafun Peninsula, the eastern extremity of Africa and part of the "Horn of Africa," appears to be complex; however, upon closer inspection, the photograph becomes easier to understand. The highly reflective surface, caused by the Sun reflecting off the surface of the water in Hafun Bay South, enhances the water surface detail (surface roughness and circulation patterns). The darker, less reflective areas in Hafun Bay North provide dynamic surface water information on wave and current patterns. The Hafun Peninsula is a tombolo, a rocky island with a sandy isthmus that connect the island to the mainland. Surface water detail is apparent in the small bay that separates the rocky island from the mainland. Most of the lowland coastal shoreline is composed of sand; yet, a few low beach cliffs--less than 1000 feet (305 meters) in elevation--are observed immediately west of the sandy beach. The reason for the north-south line of color change in some of the beach sand is not known; it might be caused by an elevation change or by differences in moisture content or soil composition of the sand. This entire region is classified as desert.