Earth from Space - Image Information

LOCATION Direction Photo #: STS062-85-95 Date: Mar. 1994
Geographic Region: PANAMA

STS062-085-095 Panama Canal Zone, Panama March 1994
Because of the configuration of the Isthmus of Panama, the canal runs northwest-southeast from the city of Colon to Panama City, both of which are visible in this photograph. In between are the blue waters of Gatun Lake and the dark green forests on either side of the canal. The Canal Zone extends approximately 5 miles (8 kilometers) on either side of the shipping channel, except near Madden Lake (east of the canal near its center). The shipping channel of the canal is 51 miles (82 kilometers) long, though the Canal Zone is only 40 miles (64 kilometers) long. The canal zigzags across the isthmus to take advantage of the geographic features of the area, such as the Chagres River (visible between Madden Lake and the canal). The controlled water supply for the canal is provided by the three artificial lakes: Gatun near the city of Colon terminus, Miraflores near the Panama City terminus, and Madden Lake. Gatun is the largest of the three lakes, covering 165 square miles (429 square kilometers). Madden Lake was built as a large supplemental reservoir to keep water levels up in the canal during the dry season. All three lakes are vital sources for maintaining the ship channel over the Continental Divide (Gaillard Cut) and for regulating the flow of water that enables huge vessels to be lifted and lowered in the massive locks. The Panamanian government will take complete control of the canal from the United States in 2000. A concern to scientists and enviromentalists in both countries will be to keep the forests bordering the canal on both sides in place to help lessen soil erosion and sedimentation. Excessive soil erosion and sedimentation caused by deforesting the zone could lead to serious silting problems, which could eventually close the canal. This would have profound economic effects on both Panama and the countries of the world that use the canal. Some sedimentation (whitish color) is visible near the center of the photograph, coming through the Chagres River from the deforested shores of Madden Lake, located east.

Gatun Lake and the forested Panama Canal Zone can be seen in this north northwest-looking low oblique photograph. The canal connects the Atlantic Ocean (coastal city of Colon) with the Pacific Ocean near Panama City in a line that takes a northwest to southeast corse because of the configuration of the isthmus. The canal zigzags across the isthmus to take advantage of the geographic features of the area such as the Chagres River. The controlled water supply for the canal is provided by the three artificial lakes: Gatun near the Atlantic terminus, Miraflores near the Pacific terminus, and Madden about halfway across the isthmus.

Images: All Available Images Low-Resolution 145k
Mission: STS062  
Roll - Frame: 85 - 95
Geographical Name: PANAMA  
Center Lat x Lon: 9.0N x 79.5W
Film Exposure: N   N=Normal exposure, U=Under exposed, O=Over exposed, F=out of Focus
Percentage of Cloud Cover-CLDP: 15
Camera:: HB
Camera Tilt: 26   LO=Low Oblique, HO=High Oblique, NV=Near Vertical
Camera Focal Length: 250  
Nadir to Photo Center Direction: E   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: 53  
Date: 19940307   YYYYMMDD
Time: 204823   GMT HHMMSS
Nadir Lat: 8.5N  
Latitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Nadir Lon: 80.7W  
Longitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Sun Azimuth: 256   Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point
Space Craft Altitude: 163   nautical miles
Sun Elevation: 40   Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point
Atmosphere Views:  
City Views:  

Photo is not associated with any sequences

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