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  Image: Geographic Location Photo #: ISS041-E-105277 Date: Oct. 2014
Geographic Region: AUSTRALIA-NT

Ordering information for space photography
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  Thunderhead with anvil, Australia

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) took this image of a large thundercloud at sunset from a point over Papua New Guinea. The side-on view shows that the cloud was in the vicinity of the horizon more than 1500 km west of the spacecraft, suggesting that the cloud lay over northern Australia or the Gulf of Carpentaria. With enough convective energy, clouds in the lowest layer of the atmosphere, the troposphere, can rise until they bump up against the stable overlying layer, at which point they spread sideways, making a thin upper zone shaped like an anvil, such as the one seen here. Knowing the camera lens focal length and the cloud location near the horizon, this expansive anvil measures approximately 200 km.

The spectacular detail seen in side-on views, backlit by the bright atmosphere, shows no rain falling from most of the cloud. The warm colors of the troposphere, compared with the blues above, are partly a measure of dust and other particulates that reflect red and yellow wavelengths.

Astronauts often comment on the thinness of the Earth's life-supporting envelope, and how it suggests the fragility of our planetary ecosystem. They also note that the number of atmospheric layers they detect with their eyes is much greater than their photographs show.
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Images: All Available Images Low-Resolution 38k
Mission: ISS041  
Roll - Frame: E - 105277
Geographical Name: AUSTRALIA-NT  
Center Lat x Lon: N x E
Film Exposure:   N=Normal exposure, U=Under exposed, O=Over exposed, F=out of Focus
Percentage of Cloud Cover-CLDP: 10
Camera: N6
Camera Tilt: HO   LO=Low Oblique, HO=High Oblique, NV=Near Vertical
Camera Focal Length: 200  
Nadir to Photo Center Direction:   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:  
Date: 20141030   YYYYMMDD
Time: 095513   GMT HHMMSS
Nadir Lat: 10.3S  
Latitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Nadir Lon: 150.1E  
Longitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Sun Azimuth: 248   Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point
Space Craft Altitude: 225   nautical miles
Sun Elevation: -28   Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point
Land Views:  
Water Views:  
Atmosphere Views:  
Man Made Views:  
City Views:  
Photo is not associated with any sequences

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