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STS103-732-5
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Spacecraft nadir point: 26.1° S, 13.3° E

Photo center point: 24.5° S, 15.5° E

Nadir to Photo Center: Northeast

Spacecraft Altitude: 328 nautical miles (607km)
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Image Caption: Sand dunes in the Namib Desert reflect the local wind direction and topography. The
Namib Desert extends for 1900 km (1200 miles) along the Atlantic coast and reaches
inland 128 km to 160 km (80 to 100 miles). Sand is transported from southern and
western coastal areas towards central, northern, and eastern parts of the desert. Dunes
along the coast tend to be cresentic or dune types that form in areas where the winds
come from one predominant direction. Linear dunes are the common dune type found
toward the interior of the Namib. Linear dunes are long, straight, and form in areas
where winds come from one predominant direction or two. Star dunes can be detected
clustered around the Sossus Vlei (vlei is a salt pan or mud flat) River. The Sossus Vlei
does not actually reach the Atlantic Ocean. Star dunes have radial arms and reflect
chaotic wind direction. Star dunes near the Sossus Vlei attain heights of 300 to 350 m
(1000 to 1167 ft).