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 #: ISS064-E-29444 Date: Feb. 2021
Geographic Region: LIBYA

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

Image: gray corner     Image: gray corner
  View Low-Resolution Image  

The vast Libyan Desert stretches toward the Mediterranean Sea, which itself fades into the horizon of this photograph. This highly oblique view of Northern Africa was taken by an External High-Definition Camera (EHDC) on the International Space Station (ISS). The burnt reds and oranges of the desert and the dark-toned mountains and plateaus contrast sharply with the bright blues of the sea and horizon; all stand out against the deep black of space. From this vantage point, Earth looks otherworldly. Were it not for the distinctive blue of the Mediterranean in the distance, it could be mistaken for Mars or the myriad desert planets of science fiction.

The Libyan Desert, part of the larger Sahara Desert, is often cited as a Mars analogue - an area of Earth that has similar features to the Red Planet. It is the most arid part of the Sahara, and mostly uninhabited. The featured landscape is a mosaic of windswept dunes and darker sandstone plateaus making up the Fezzan region of Libya.

The EHDC is one of the ground-controlled cameras used to monitor mission status on the ISS. When the camera is Earth-facing, it joins the many Earth-observing sensors that are part of the ISS mission. These experiments take advantage of the unique orbital properties of the space station to gather data about our home planet. The position of EDHC on the orbiting lab allows for it to take wide-angle, highly oblique shots like this one—a type of view that is unusual for most remote sensing platforms but a favorite for astronaut photography.

Image: gray corner     Image: gray corner

Images: All Available Images Low-Resolution 229k
Mission: ISS064  
Roll - Frame: E - 29444
Geographical Name: LIBYA  
Center Lat x Lon: 25.5N x 11.5E
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: 56  
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:  
Date: 20210205   YYYYMMDD
Time: 095105   GMT HHMMSS
Nadir Lat: 18.4N  
Latitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Nadir Lon: 6.2E  
Longitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Sun Azimuth: 138   Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point
Space Craft Altitude: 225   nautical miles
Sun Elevation: 45   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

Home Page
Home Page
JSC Digital
Image Collection
Earth Science &
Remote Sensing

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