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STS059-223-71
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Spacecraft nadir point: 43.9° N, 50.3° E

Photo center point: 45.0° N, 51.0° E

Nadir to Photo Center: Northeast

Spacecraft Altitude: 112 nautical miles (207km)
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Image Caption: STS059-223-071 Northern Caspian Sea, Kazakhstan April 1994
This north-looking view shows the northern Caspian Sea and its surrounding lowlands. The Caspian Sea is the largest inland body of water in the world. The sea is presently near 88 feet (27 meters) below sea level. The water levels of the Caspian Sea rose during the decade of the 1990's. Before the decade of the 1990's, water levels had been receding due to the construction of dams and lakes on the Volga, the sea's main source of water inflow. The northern part of the Caspian Sea, as shown in this view, is shallow reaching an average depth of only 17 feet (5 meters). A good portion of the northern part of the Caspian Sea is frozen during the winter months of December through early March. Much of the land area, mostly marsh and desert surrounding this region of the Caspian Sea is below sea level. The lands around this section of the sea are known for the production of oil and gas, and manganese and coal mining. The Manglashlak Peninsula is visible extending westward into the Caspian Sea in the lower left portion of the image.