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  Image: Geographic Location Direction Photo #: STS085-503-119 Date: Aug. 1997
Geographic Region: KAZAKHSTAN

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  View Low-Resolution Image  
  STS085-503-119 Aral Sea, Kazakhstan August 1997
Once the fourth largest inland body of water in the world, the Aral Sea, as seen in this southeast-looking view, has shrunk to a fraction of its former size and is now the eighth largest inland body of water in the world. Water has been diverted to cotton irrigation since the late 1950's from the two rivers that feed the Aral Sea, the Amu-Darya in the south, and the Syr-Darya in the northeast. Pollution of the waters of the Aral Sea from heavy usage of the fertilizers and pesticides has been occurring since the 1960's. Also occurring was runoff of chemicals used in chemical weapons testing on the Ust-Jurt Plateau (right center of the image) by the former USSR military, which was halted in the mid 1980's. Salinity of the Aral Sea has tripled since 1960 and nearly twenty species of wildlife and vegetation have become extinct. The Aral Sea, because of the decline, has become two separate bodies of water. The Little Aral Sea, or the northern portion, has begun to rise due to the construction of a small dam to hold the water in and slow the rate of evaporation. Irrigated land in the Syr-Dayra River Valley has declined somewhat in the 1990's, thus allowing water to reach the Little Aral Sea. The dam in the Little Aral Sea is being constructed and financed by the government of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the small cites that once bordered the Aral Sea. Water levels in the Little Aral Sea have risen by as much as 10 feet (3 meters) during the mid and late 1990's. With no water reaching the southern Aral Sea through Amu-Darya, some scientists predict that this portion of the sea will disappear by the year 2020.
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Images: All Available Images Low-Resolution 233k
Mission: STS085  
Roll - Frame: 503 - 119
Geographical Name: KAZAKHSTAN  
Features: PAN-ARAL SEA, DUST  
Center Lat x Lon: 46.0N x 61.0E
Film Exposure: N   N=Normal exposure, U=Under exposed, O=Over exposed, F=out of Focus
Percentage of Cloud Cover-CLDP: 0
Camera: LH
Camera Tilt: HO   LO=Low Oblique, HO=High Oblique, NV=Near Vertical
Camera Focal Length: 90  
Nadir to Photo Center Direction:   The direction from the nadir to the center point, N=North, S=South, E=East, W=West
Stereo?: N   Y=Yes there is an adjacent picture of the same area, N=No there isn't
Orbit Number:  
Date: 199708__   YYYYMMDD
Nadir Lat: N  
Latitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Nadir Lon: E  
Longitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Sun Azimuth:   Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point
Space Craft Altitude:   nautical miles
Sun Elevation:   Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point
Land Views: DESERT  
Water Views: SEA, RIVER  
Atmosphere Views: DUST  
Man Made Views: AGRICULTURE  
City Views:  
Photo is not associated with any sequences

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