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Image Caption: STS51C-143-17 Southern Louisiana, U.S.A. January 1985
This panoramic, northeast-looking photographs encompasses an area from the sediment-laden Atchafalaya Bay (bottom of photograph) to just beyond Mobile Bay, Alabama, (upper right corner). Urban New Orleans lies along the south shore of roughly oval Lake Pontchartrain. The main channel of the Mississippi River is discernible from just north of Baton Rouge to the northern half of the "bird's foot" delta at the mouth of the river. Immediately west of the Mississippi River is its major distributary, the Atchafalaya River. The mottled terrain is a mixture of darker, forested lands and lighter, nonforested areas. The barrier islands off the coasts of Alabama, Mississippi, and southeastern Louisiana create a partial obstacle between Mississippi Sound and the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico.