Taken from the International Space Station (ISS), this photograph shows the city of Green Bay, Wisconsin, at the southern end of icebound Green Bay, a basin of Lake Michigan. The heavy snowfalls of winter 2014 cover the landscape. Because of the low sun illumination on a winter’s day, all surfaces appear in shades of gray: fields appear brighter; the cityscape appears as a checkerboard of grays; and forests appear dark.
The center of the city lies on the Fox River, one of the few larger rivers in the United States to flow north. Open water appears in dark patches at the mouth of the river, where an electric power station emits warm water. A line of thinner, grayer ice—an extension of that warm power plant outflow, or perhaps an icebreaker track?—extends from the river mouth towards Long Tail Point, an ancient shoreline of the bay. Streets and bridges crossing the Fox River appear quite clearly. Crews aboard the ISS do not usually take such detailed photographs because of the difficulty of getting sharp images with long lenses (in this case, 1000 mm).
Astronaut photograph ISS038-E-57979 was acquired on February 22, 2014, with a Nikon D3X digital camera using a 1000 millimeter lens, and is provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations Facility and the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, Johnson Space Center. The image was taken by the Expedition 38 crew. It has been cropped and enhanced to improve contrast, and lens artifacts have been removed. The International Space Station Program supports the laboratory as part of the ISS National Lab 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 M. Justin Wilkinson, Jacobs at NASA-JSC.
Muddy brown water fills Sandusky Bay, just south of Lake Erie in this astronaut photograph. The small city of Sandusky occupies the southeastern shore of the bay. The most striking aspect of this image is the flow of the brown water in and out of the mouth of the bay. Slight movement of lake surface water, driven mainly by wind, causes a small ebb and flow of bay water. Sediment-charged water is derived from agricultural fields along the Sandusky River upstream. Mud plumes in Lake Erie originate from prior pulses of muddy water from the bay. When this image was taken, some clear, lake water (blue-green strip) appeared to be flowing into the bay.
Maryland’s Patuxent River Naval Air Station is located on a small peninsula, bordered by the Patuxent River to the north-northeast and Chesapeake Bay to the east and southeast. International Space Station crews frequently use the Patuxent River Naval Air Station as a geographic reference point and photographic training target. This astronaut photograph illustrates why—the distinctive pattern of the airfield runways and the station’s location in Chesapeake Bay make it easy to spot from orbit.