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  Image: Geographic Location Direction Photo #: ISS050-E-52210 Date: Feb. 2017
Geographic Region: GERMANY

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  View Low-Resolution Image  
  Image Caption: Coal Mines, Eastern Germany

An astronaut on the International Space Station took this photograph of a strip mine in Germany, located along the Polish border at the Neisse River (Nysa in Polish). Here lignite, also known as soft brown coal, is being mined in large quantities to supply one of Germany's largest power stations near the village of Janschwalde.

Using a long lens, the astronaut managed to capture the size and detail of the artificial landscape that results from strip mining. The rock face that is being actively worked casts a series of straight, dark shadows. Another strip mine is active immediately south (lower right).

Immense excavator machines rip up the lignite; these can be seen at the west end of the face in the high-resolution download of the image. At this mine, the machines scrape off the overlying non-fuel rock layer (known as overburden), dig up the lignite, and then replace the mined strip with the overburden material as the rockface advances. This reclaimed "backfill zone" appears in the image as a series of lines parallel to the mining front, but lacking the shadow.

Janschwalde power station (just outside the bottom of the photo) is the third largest in Germany, with yearly power output of 22 billion kilowatt hours. At peak production it requires 80,000 tons of lignite fuel daily. Lignite is only economically mined if it lies near the surface and spread over a wide area. The area set aside for this mine is greater than 30 square kilometers (12 square miles).

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Images: All Available Images Low-Resolution 494k
Mission: ISS050  
Roll - Frame: E - 52210
Geographical Name: GERMANY  
Center Lat x Lon: 51.8N x 14.6E
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: 21   LO=Low Oblique, HO=High Oblique, NV=Near Vertical
Camera Focal Length: 1150  
Nadir to Photo Center Direction: W   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: 20170216   YYYYMMDD
Time: 130823   GMT HHMMSS
Nadir Lat: 51.4N  
Latitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Nadir Lon: 15.9E  
Longitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Sun Azimuth: 211   Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point
Space Craft Altitude: 215   nautical miles
Sun Elevation: 22   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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