STS068-249-51
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Spacecraft nadir point: 36.3° N, 119.9° W

Photo center point: 34.0° N, 119.5° W

Nadir to Photo Center: South

Spacecraft Altitude: 111 nautical miles (206km)
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Image Caption: STS068-249-051 Channel Islands and Santa Ynez Mountains, California, U.S.A. October 1994
The northern Channel Islands are captured in sunglint in this south-southwest-looking, low-oblique photograph. Near the center of the photograph is Santa Cruz, the largest of the islands. Visible are the Santa Ynez Mountains paralleling the coastline from near Point Conception to Ventura; the forested, rugged Sierra Madre Range farther inland; and the Santa Monica Mountains to the south. In the sunglint, island wakes, waves, and ship wakes are discernible. The Sierra Madre Range and Santa Monica Mountains are subject to devastating forest fires when grass and timber growth is enhanced by good winter and early spring rains. Recent fires in the Santa Monica Mountains destroyed homes and businesses westward to the beach.