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File:Dust Storm Over Turkmenistan.jpg


English: This west-looking astronaut photograph, taken with a short focal length lens from the International Space Station, spans a wide swath of central Asia—from Afghanistan, along the length of Turkmenistan, and beyond to the Caspian Sea. Winds blowing down the largest river valley in the region, the Amudarya, were strong enough to raise a large dust storm. Dust appears as a light brown mass extending into the centre of the image from the lower right. Diffuse dust from prior windy weather appears over much of the area making a regional haze that hides landscape details. The haze partly obscures the irrigated agriculture in Turkmenistan and entirely obscures the Caspian Sea. Numerous rivers rise in the Hindu Kush range (lower left). The Band-i Amir River is a major tributary of the main regional river, the Amudarya, which it reaches via a deep canyon. The Amudarya River was the major historical contributor of water to the Aral Sea, but today extensive diversion of river water for agricultural purposes has led to desiccation of the sea bed. The exposed sea bed is a major source of saline dusts contaminated with agricultural chemicals, and it poses a significant environmental and human health hazard to central Asia. To a lesser extent, dusts are also mobilized from sediments along the Amudarya River channel. The Paropamisus Range and the Amudarya (also known as the Oxus River) are mentioned in histories of Alexander the Great’s famous military expedition from Greece to India. His horsemen are described as having made a fast side excursion from near the Caspian Sea (image top right) as far as the Amudarya (image lower right).

International Space Station InsigniaISS Crew Earth Observations: ISS017-E-19616International Space Station Insignia
Mission ISS017 ( Expedition 17)
Roll E
Frame 19616
Country or Geographic Name Turkmenistan
Centre Point Latitude 36.0° N
Centre Point Longitude 63.4° E
Camera Tilt High Oblique
Camera Focal Length 28 mm
Camera Nikon D2Xs
Film 4288 x 2848 pixel CMOS sensor, RGBG imager colour filter.
Percentage of Cloud Cover 0-10%
Nadir What is Nadir?
Date 2008-10-16
Time 10:59:53
Nadir Point Latitude 33.8° N
Nadir Point Longitude 72.5° E
Nadir to Photo Centre Direction West
Sun Azimuth 245°
Spacecraft Altitude 188 nautical miles (348 km)
Sun Elevation Angle 18°
Orbit Number 761

Date 16 October 2008
Source NASA Earth Observatory
Author This image was taken by the NASA Expedition 17 crew.

Camera location

42° 35′ 56.80″ N, 59° 16′ 54.60″ E

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Astronaut photograph ISS017-E-19616 was taken with a Nikon D2Xs digital camera fitted with a 28 mm lens, and is provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations experiment and Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, Johnson Space Centre.

Shuttle.svg This image or video was catalogued by Johnson Space Centre of the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) under Photo ID: ISS017-E-19616.
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