The central portion of the capital city of Turkey, Ankara, is featured in this astronaut photograph. Ankara is located in central Turkey. The climate there is continental and relatively dry, leading to cold winters and hot summers. The region is prone to major earthquakes, as Turkey experiences tectonic forces from both the African plate to the west and the Arabian plate to the east. Despite the earthquake hazard, the city traces its roots back into antiquity, with a Hittite settlement here prior to 1200 BC. A citadel built and occupied in turn by the Galatians, Romans, Byzantines, and Seljuks overlooks the central portion of the city, and today serves as both a historical and recreational site. Perhaps an even more imposing structure—the mausoleum of the founder of the modern-day Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal AtatÃ¼rk—is visible on an adjacent hill to the southwest.
Hill slopes around the city (image left and right) are fairly green due to spring rainfall. One of the most striking aspects of the urban area is the almost uniform use of red brick roofing tiles, which contrast with lighter-colored roads; the contrast is particularly evident in the northern (image lower left) and southern (image upper right) portions of the city. Numerous parks are visible as green patches interspersed within the red-roofed urban region. A region of cultivated fields in the western portion of the city (image center) is a recreational farming area known as the Atatürk Forest Farm and Zoo—an interesting example of intentional preservation of a former land use within an urban area.
Astronaut photograph ISS019-E-6499 was acquired April 11, 2009, with a Nikon D3 digital camera fitted with a 400 mm lens, and is provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations experiment and the Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, Johnson Space Center. The image was taken by the Expedition 19 crew. The image in this article has been cropped and enhanced to improve contrast. Lens artifacts have been removed. The International Space Station Program supports the laboratory to help astronauts take pictures of Earth that will be of the greatest value to scientists and the public, and to make those images freely available on the Internet. Additional images taken by astronauts and cosmonauts can be viewed at the NASA/JSC Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth. Caption by William L. Stefanov, NASA-JSC.
Commonly known as “the oldest city in the world,” Jericho is an important historical, cultural, and political center located northwest of the Dead Sea. This astronaut photograph illustrates the city center, and the original settlement mound of Tell es-Sultan. Total distance across the image is approximately 8 kilometers (5 miles). Two large refugee camps are located to the northwest and south of the city center. The high building density of the refugee camps contrasts sharply with the more open city center and irrigated fields (green polygonal patches) of Jericho, and illustrates one of the physical consequences of the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the region.