STS056-77-38
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Spacecraft nadir point: 33.7° N, 105.3° W

Photo center point: 33.5° N, 105.5° W

Nadir to Photo Center: Southwest

Spacecraft Altitude: 162 nautical miles (300km)
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Image Caption: STS056-077-038 Sacramento Mountains, New Mexico, U.S.A. April 1993
The heavily forested Sacramento, Sierra Blanca, and Capitan Mountains of south-central New Mexico show a series of deeply incised drainage features fanning out in all directions from higher elevations, the most prominent being created by the Hondo River flowing eastward toward the Pecos River Valley. Most of the streams in this semiarid region are intermittently flowing to the east. Subsurface limestone aquifers also transport ground water eastward. The mottled feature (lower right corner) indicates irrigation farming in the Pecos River Valley using artesian water that is transported from the mountains to the west. Visible is the northeast tip of the highly reflective White Sands National Monument, the world's largest gypsum field.