STS065-102-10

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Spacecraft nadir point: 15.6° S, 60.2° W

Photo center point: 18.5° S, 63.0° W

Nadir to Photo Center: Southwest

Spacecraft Altitude: 163 nautical miles (302km)
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Image Caption: STS-65 Earth observation taken aboard Columbia, Orbiter Vehicle (OV) 102, is of dust plumes from the Rio Grande in Southern Bolivia. A series of dust plumes can be seen rising from sand banks in the Rio Grande of southern Bolivia, bottom right of this northeast-looking view. The Rio Grande brings sediment from the Andes (foothills visible in the foreground, bottom left) and flows across the flat country of the northern Chaco plain. During the low-flow season, sand banks of this sediment are exposed to northerly winds which often blow dust into the surrounding forest. One of the significances of the dust plumes is that dust acts as a source of nutrient for the local soils. This is the most impressive example of dust ever recorded on Shuttle photography from this river. Such plumes have been seen on photographs from four previous missions (STS-31, STS-47, STS-48, STS-51I) emanating from the Rio Grande. The plumes are regularly space because the sand is blown only from those reaches of th