Return to Earth From Space Home
Earth from Space logo Image Information Earth from Space logo

Display a Screen Layout for Printing

IMAGE: gray corner       IMAGE: gray corner
  Image: Geographic Location Direction Photo #: ISS027-E-5274 Date: Mar. 2011
Geographic Region: CHINA

Ordering information for space photography
IMAGE: gray corner     IMAGE: gray corner

Image: gray corner     Image: gray corner
  View Low-Resolution Image  
  Central Tien Shan, People's Republic of China

The Tien Shan (or "celestial mountains" in Chinese) is one of the largest continuous mountain ranges in the world, extending approximately 2500 kilometers roughly east-west across Central Asia. This astronaut photograph provides a detailed view of part of the central Tien Shan, located approximately 64 kilometers east of where the borders of China, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan meet. While the image looks like it might have been taken from an airplane, it was taken from the International Space Station (ISS) at an altitude of 341 kilometers. The distance between the ISS ground track position (approximately 304 kilometers to the southwest) and the imaged area produces an oblique - looking outwards an angle, rather than straight down - view that, together with shadowing of valleys, accentuates the mountainous topography.

Like the Himalayas to the south, the uplift of the Tien Shan results from the ongoing collision between the Eurasian and Indian continental tectonic plates. The rugged topography of the range is the result of subsequent erosion by water, wind, and in the highest parts of the range, active glaciers. Two types of glaciers are visible in the image; cirque glaciers occupy amphitheater-like depressions on the upper slopes of the mountains, and feed ice downslope to aggregate into large valley glaciers such as the one visible at image center. Low clouds obscure an adjacent valley and glaciers to the north (image upper left).

Two high peaks of the central Tien Shan are identifiable in the image. Xuelian Feng has a high summit of 6, 527 meters above sea level. To the east, the aptly-named Peak 6231 has summit of 6231 meters above sea level.
Image: gray corner     Image: gray corner

Images: All Available Images Low-Resolution 155k
Mission: ISS027  
Roll - Frame: E - 5274
Geographical Name: CHINA  
Center Lat x Lon: 42.3N x 80.9E
Film Exposure:   N=Normal exposure, U=Under exposed, O=Over exposed, F=out of Focus
Percentage of Cloud Cover-CLDP: 25
Camera: N2
Camera Tilt: 44   LO=Low Oblique, HO=High Oblique, NV=Near Vertical
Camera Focal Length: 800  
Nadir to Photo Center Direction: NE   The direction from the nadir to the center point, N=North, S=South, E=East, W=West
Stereo?:   Y=Yes there is an adjacent picture of the same area, N=No there isn't
Orbit Number: 2626  
Date: 20110316   YYYYMMDD
Time: 042723   GMT HHMMSS
Nadir Lat: 40.0N  
Latitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Nadir Lon: 79.0E  
Longitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Sun Azimuth: 132   Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point
Space Craft Altitude: 184   nautical miles
Sun Elevation: 37   Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point
Water Views: ICE  
Atmosphere Views:  
Man Made Views:  
City Views:  
Photo is not associated with any sequences

NASA Human
Space Flight
Home Page
Home Page
Image eXchange
JSC Digital
Image Collection
Earth Science &
Remote Sensing

This service is provided by the International Space Station program and the JSC Earth Science & Remote Sensing Unit, ARES Division, Exploration Integration Science Directorate.
NASA meatball logo
ESRS logo