STS096-714-53
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Spacecraft nadir point: 47.5° N, 10.2° E

Photo center point: 46.0° N, 8.5° E

Nadir to Photo Center: Southwest

Spacecraft Altitude: 211 nautical miles (391km)
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Image Caption: The slopes of the Alps are forested and appear green, whereas the
valley floor appears generally gray due to its dense urban landscapes
(lower left). The valley and all the lakes in the view have been
carved by a succession of glacier advances during the ice ages of the
past 2 million years. The largest lake (center) is Lake Maggiore,
ringed by the snowcapped Alps in Switzerland (right side and top of
the view). Some of the highest peaks reach almost 3000m (midway down
the right side of the view). The major transalpine St. Gotthard
railway, joining Milan and Zurich, enters the view along the largest
valley (Valle Levantina, right-which becomes Lake Maggiore). The next
lake east is smaller Lake Lugano. "A great stone dam ... built ... to
carry the railway" can be seen crossing L. Lugano. Lake Como appears
at the bottom of the view. The railroad passes through the town of
Como at the downstream end of Lake Como before heading southeast
across the valley floor to Milan (just outside the bottom-left corner
of the view). The large regional Malpensa Airport appears lower left.