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  Image: Geographic Location Direction Photo #: ISS064-E-6296 Date: Nov. 2020
Geographic Region: SAUDI ARABIA

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  Red Sea Rainforest

Looking down from the International Space Station (ISS), an astronaut captured this view of the northwest coastline of Saudi Arabia, where up to 260 coral reef species thrive. The salty, warm waters off the coast of the Arabian Peninsula create an optimal environment for coral reefs to grow, mainly in shallow lagoons where the shoreline meets the Red Sea. The water transitions from bright turquoise in the lagoons to deep blue as depth increases.

Fringing reefs, which start at the shore and grow toward the sea, line the northwestern Saudi Arabian coastline. Coral reef biodiversity increases to the south, where patch and barrier reefs combine with fringing reefs to form rich ecosystems. Coral reefs are known as "rainforests of the sea" for their biodiversity and their functionality in nature providing a food source for other sea life and humans, while also protecting shorelines.

With the human population growing on the arid Arabian Peninsula, there is increasing demand for a freshwater supply. That demand is often met by the use of desalination plants. Currently, the country is home to the world's largest desalination plants, which produce freshwater and brine, a salty wastewater byproduct. Some brine flows back into the Red Sea and can decrease the dissolved oxygen in aquatic ecosystems. This is known as hypoxia, and it can pose a serious threat to coral reef ecosystems and biodiversity in the Red Sea.

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Images: All Available Images Low-Resolution 422k
Mission: ISS064  
Roll - Frame: E - 6296
Geographical Name: SAUDI ARABIA  
Center Lat x Lon: 25.5N x 36.9E
Film Exposure:   N=Normal exposure, U=Under exposed, O=Over exposed, F=out of Focus
Percentage of Cloud Cover-CLDP: 10
Camera: N8
Camera Tilt: 20   LO=Low Oblique, HO=High Oblique, NV=Near Vertical
Camera Focal Length: 400  
Nadir to Photo Center Direction: S   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: 20201126   YYYYMMDD
Time: 122454   GMT HHMMSS
Nadir Lat: 26.8N  
Latitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Nadir Lon: 36.5E  
Longitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Sun Azimuth: 228   Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point
Space Craft Altitude: 224   nautical miles
Sun Elevation: 25   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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