STS068-200-23
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Spacecraft nadir point: 44.8° N, 145.2° E

Photo center point: 43.0° N, 144.5° E

Nadir to Photo Center: South

Spacecraft Altitude: 118 nautical miles (219km)
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Image Caption: STS068-200-023 Agriculture, Eastern Hokkaido, Japan October 1994
Located at the eastern end of Japan's northernmost large island, Hokkaido, color infrared film (reddish hues represent a variety of green vegetation) helps to delineate a unique, gridded pattern on the landscape. The thin-looking, linear, intersecting pattern appears to be part of an extensive irrigation system that is being used to improve agricultural productivity in the region. In spite of a short growing season (varying from 130 to 150 days) the eastern end of Hokkaido does enjoy a vigorous livestock and dairy farming economy. The large, dark areas are forested terrain (found mainly in hilly or low-lying, swampy areas). There are also a few river valleys visible as the streams flow generally towards the southeast coast of Hokkaido. The locations of two rural cities, Nakashibetsu (lower left) and Shibecha (right middle), can be identified as small, gray-looking areas. Akkeshi Bay is the large bay slightly above the center of the image. The lighter blue waters along the coast and in the bay are actually brownish-looking sediment plumes. The same sediment coloration (lighter blue) is also visible in the small lakes, located northeast of the seaport city of Kushiro (upper right). Refer to STS68-205-064 for overlapping color infrared coverage of the same general area of Hokkaido.