Astronauts flying on the International Space Station took this photograph of California’s southernmost coastal city. The mouth of San Diego Bay, between North Island and the Point Loma peninsula, is just over a kilometer wide. The rocky coast near Point Loma appears jagged compared to the smooth curve of the sandy beach on North Island.
Despite some thin clouds, the image shows port facilities and the San Diego International Airport. Near the mouth of the bay, numerous civilian boats occupy the marinas at Shelter Island and Harbor Island (south and southwest of the airport).
The curved Coronado peninsula (also termed North Island) is a well-known landmark for astronauts and home to Naval Air Station North Island, the largest aerospace employer in region. The San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge links the peninsula to the mainland. The U.S. West Coast fleet is based across the bay at Naval Base San Diego, with thirteen long piers for warships.
Shadows mark the downtown high-rise buildings in this midday shot. Further inland, hills and canyon cliffs also casts shadows in finger-like patterns. The local interstate highway arcs around the downtown city center, with several other highway curves visible in this otherwise gridded urban landscape.
You can view a broader image of the international San Diego-Tijuana conurbation by clicking here.
Astronaut photograph ISS042-E-117496 was acquired on January 10, 2015, with a Nikon D4 digital camera using an 800 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 a member of the Expedition 42 crew. The image 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, Texas State University, Jacobs Contract at NASA-JSC.