Polar Mesospheric Clouds Illuminated by Orbital Sunrise



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English: This unusual astronaut photograph shows polar mesospheric clouds illuminated by the rising, rather than setting Sun. Low clouds on the horizon appear yellow and orange, while higher clouds and aerosols (particles like dust and pollution) are illuminated a brilliant white. Polar mesospheric clouds appear as light blue ribbons extending across the top of the image.

The ISS was located over the Greek island of Kos in the Aegean Sea (near the south-western coastline of Turkey) when the image was taken at approximately midnight local time. The ISS was tracking north-eastward, nearly parallel to the terminator, making it possible to observe an apparent “sunrise” almost due north.

5 July 2010(2010-07-05)


NASA Earth Observatory


ISS Expedition 24 crew

(Reusing this file)

See below.

Camera location

36° 48' 0" N, 27° 6' 0" E

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Shuttle.svg This image or video was catalogued by Johnson Space Center of the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) under Photo ID: ISS024-E-6136.
This tag does not indicate the copyright status or the source of the attached work. A normal copyright tag and a source are still required. See Commons:Licensing for more information.

Image acquired with a Nikon D2Xs digital camera using a 180 mm lens, and is provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations experiment and Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, Johnson Space Center.


Public domain This file is in the public domain because it was created by NASA. NASA copyright policy states that "NASA material is not protected by copyright unless noted". (See Template:PD-USGov, NASA copyright policy page or JPL Image Use Policy.)


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Public Domain


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EXIF data:
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Size, bytes 733242
Mime type image/jpeg
Image input equipment manufacturer NIKON CORPORATION
Image input equipment model NIKON D2Xs
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Date and time original image was generated 2010:06:16 22:23:26
Date and time image was made digital data 2010:06:16 22:23:26
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User comments ASCIINASA 1112 72.0F
Color space information 1
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Scene type 
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Focal length in 35 mm film 270
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Software used Adobe Photoshop CS4 Windows
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