Earth from Space - Image Information


LOCATION Direction Photo #: ISS062-E-81945 Date: Mar. 2020
Geographic Region: BELIZE
Feature: LIGHTHOUSE REEF, GREAT BLUE HOLE


 
Lighthouse Reef and the Great Blue Hole

This photograph, taken by an International Space Station astronaut while in orbit over the Caribbean Sea, captures one of Earth's most alluring ocean locations. The Great Blue Hole lies near the center of Lighthouse Reef atoll, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) from the coast of mainland Belize. The exceptional clarity of the water, characteristic of atolls in the Caribbean, allows the deeper (darker) hole to stand out against the shallower (lighter) waters of the reef.

The mysterious Great Blue Hole most likely formed during the last Ice Age, when global sea level was much lower. This marine sinkhole contains many geologic features, including limestone stalactites and stalagmites. It stretches 300 meters (about 1,000 feet) across and reaches depths of more than 120 meters (400 feet). The depths and compelling rock formations within the Great Blue Hole are intriguing to seasoned divers. While the reefs around it are teeming with life, the poor circulation of oxygen and lack of light at the bottom of the hole creates an inhospitable environment for most life forms.

Lighthouse Reef and the Great Blue Hole are just small pieces of the Belize Barrier Reef system, one of the world's most pristine marine ecosystems. Comprised of fringing, barrier, and atoll reefs, the area supports a rich diversity of species. There are several natural monuments within the atoll, including Half Moon Caye, a marine protected area created by the Belizean government to support rare bird species.

The Belize Barrier Reef is an integral part of the greater Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second longest in the world. Stretching along 1000 kilometers (600 miles) of the coastlines of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras, the reef system is a major hub for marine species and one of the most biodiverse places on Earth.




Images: All Available Images Low-Resolution 339k
Mission: ISS062  
Roll - Frame: E - 81945
Geographical Name: BELIZE  
Features: LIGHTHOUSE REEF, GREAT BLUE HOLE  
Center Lat x Lon: 17.3N x 87.5W
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: 18   LO=Low Oblique, HO=High Oblique, NV=Near Vertical
Camera Focal Length: 380  
 
Nadir to Photo Center Direction: N   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: 20200305   YYYYMMDD
Time: 152608   GMT HHMMSS
Nadir Lat: 16.1N  
Latitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Nadir Lon: 87.7W  
Longitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Sun Azimuth: 116   Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point
Space Craft Altitude: 227   nautical miles
Sun Elevation: 46   Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point
Land Views: ATOLL, COAST, MOON  
Water Views: ICE, OCEAN, REEF, SEA  
Atmosphere Views:  
Man Made Views:  
City Views: BELIZE  

Photo is not associated with any sequences


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