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STS059-L09-162
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Spacecraft nadir point: 37.8° N, 116.5° W

Photo center point: 37.0° N, 117.5° W

Nadir to Photo Center: Southwest

Spacecraft Altitude: 119 nautical miles (220km)
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Image Caption: This view is oriented with the snow-covered mountains (Sierra Nevada of California) in the upper right corner. Then Owens Valley runs along the top of the photograph to Owens Lake playa at top center. The upper end of Death Valley extends from right to left in the foreground, with the drainage running down to a playa of Stovepipe Wells in the left foreground. Geologists are studying microwave signatures of the different playa surfaces, and the coatings on alluvial fans that extend from mountain masses, to try to sort out the history of different climates in this formerly wet but now hyperarid region.