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Spacecraft nadir point: 39.1° N, 112.9° W

Photo center point: 39.5° N, 119.0° W

Nadir to Photo Center: West

Spacecraft Altitude: 146 nautical miles (270km)
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Image Caption: STS073-704-084 Carson Sink, Nevada, U.S.A. October 1995
Large, highly reflective Carson Sink, near the center of this low-oblique, west-looking photograph, is a dry lakebed measuring approximately 20 miles (32 kilometers) in diameter. A part of the larger Carson Desert, Carson Sink is very flat, with an elevation that varies less than 10 feet in its central part. Its salt-encrusted surface is devoid of vegetation except for small areas of saw grass at the mouths of the Carson River, which enters the sink from the southwest, and the Humboldt River, which enters the sink from the north. Because both of these rivers flow only intermittently, with any available water being diverted for agriculture farther upstream, little water actually reaches Carson Sink. A series of northeast-southwest-oriented mountain ranges east of Carson Sink--the Stillwater Range, Clan Alpine Mountains, and Desatoya Mountains--are separated by valleys that contain smaller, highly reflective dry lakes. Large Pyramid Lake and Lake Tahoe appear west and southwest, respectively, of Carson Sink.