Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Pictures From Space


Angling for a good shot

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station have used hand-held cameras to take more than 450,000 photographs of Earth as seen from their orbiting outpost about 220 miles up in the skies since November 2000.
The flexibility to look off to the side, change lenses and choose interesting features to photograph are some of the advantages over stationary Earth-observing cameras on satellites, noted Cindy Evans at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston where the database of images is maintained.
Here, astronaut Donald Pettit photographs the Earth from the Destiny Laboratory on the International Space Station.


Playing in the sand

Among the best applications of ISS Earth Observation, according to Evans, is the perspective it offers on human development. For example, this Jan. 13, 2010, image of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates shows several of the city's features built with an aerial perspective in mind.
On the left is Palm Jumeira, a palm tree – shaped island made with more than 1.7 billion cubic feet of dredged sand. On the right are the World Islands, which were completed in 2008 with 11.3 billion cubic feet of sand. The Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest skyscraper at 2,217 feet that opened on Jan. 4, can be picked out in the lower right of the image.

Volcanic eruption caught in the act

On June 12, 2009, the space station made a fortunate pass over Sarychev Volcano in the Kuril Islands northeast of Japan during the early stage of an eruption. How the clouds on top of and around the ash plume formed are a source of keen scientific interest.

Forest clearing in Bolivia

Astronauts have used hand-held cameras to photograph the Earth for more than 45 years, providing an archive to draw from to show land use changes through time. The images show progressive clearing of the tropical rainforest in eastern Bolivia to make room for agricultural fields.
The above image was taken from the space shuttle in November 1995. The image on the right is a slightly closer view of the same region made from the space station on November 2008.

'Little jewels of the ocean'

As astronauts orbit over the western Pacific Ocean, they don't see land for long stretches of time. Then coral reefs and atolls appear and the astronauts tend to reach for the camera like little jewels in the ocean.
Nukuoro Atoll in the Caroline Islands northeast of Papua New Guinea was photographed on May 31, 2006. The 42 patches of vegetation on the island face the dominant easterly winds. About 900 people live in the settlements on the inland side of the forest patches. Space station images of coral reefs are used by conservationists to monitor the health of these habitats.

A total solar eclipse from space

Solar eclipse enthusiasts will travel to the ends of the Earth to watch the moon momentarily blot the sun from the sky. Astronauts aboard the International Space Station caught this view of the moon's shadow sweeping across Turkey, northern Cyprus, and the Mediterranean Sea during the total solar eclipse of March 29, 2006.

London all lit up

Cities are among the most popular astronaut images downloaded from NASA. People are fascinated that not just a satellite looks down at them, but that people orbiting the Earth are looking down at these urban regions.
This Feb. 4, 2003, photograph of London gives a clear view of the city's urban density. The downtown core is the brightest and the density steady drops off until it reaches an encircling roadway called the Orbital. The fuzzy patches are thought to be clouds or areas of fog.

Related Posts :

Blog Widget by LinkWithin
:)) ;)) ;;) :D ;) :p :(( :) :( :X =(( :-o :-/ :-* :| 8-} :)] ~x( :-t b-( :-L x( =))


Post a Comment