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File:CairoIL from space annotated.jpg


Description Astronaut photo of the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers at Cairo, Illinois.

International Space Station InsigniaISS Crew Earth Observations: ISS012-E-15035International Space Station Insignia
Mission ISS012 ( Expedition 12)
Roll E
Frame 15035
Country or Geographic Name USA-ILLINOIS
Centre Point Latitude 37.0° N
Centre Point Longitude -89.2° E
Camera Tilt 17°
Camera Focal Length 400 mm
Camera Kodak DCS760C Electronic Still Camera
Film 3060 x 2036 pixel CCD, RGBG array.
Percentage of Cloud Cover 0-10%
Nadir What is Nadir?
Date 2006-01-12
Time 18:38:03
Nadir Point Latitude 37.2° N
Nadir Point Longitude -88.3° E
Nadir to Photo Centre Direction West
Sun Azimuth 190°
Spacecraft Altitude 185 nautical miles (343 km)
Sun Elevation Angle 31°
Orbit Number 867
Original image caption
The Ohio River becomes a tributary of the Mississippi River directly south of Cairo, Illinois, a small city on the spit of land where the rivers converge (at center of this astronaut photograph). Brown, sediment-laden water flowing generally northeast to south from the Ohio River is distinct from the green and relatively sediment-poor water of the Mississippi River (flowing northwest to south). The colour of the rivers in this image is reversed from the usual condition of a green Ohio and a brown Mississippi. This suggests that the very high rainfall in December 2005 over the Appalachians and the northeastern United States has led to greater-than-normal amounts of sediment in the rivers and streams of the Ohio River watershed. The distinct boundary between the two river’s waters indicates that little to no mixing occurs even 5-6 kilometers (3-4 miles) downstream.

Cairo became a prosperous port following the Civil War due to increased riverboat and railroad commerce. Small features visible in the image on the Ohio are river barges, which indicate the continued importance of Cairo as a transport hub. Flooding of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers presents a continual danger to the city; this danger is lessened by the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway that begins directly to the south of the river confluence. During major flood events, the floodway lessens flood stages upstream (such as at Cairo) and adjacent to the floodway. Part of the extensive levee system associated with flood control of the Mississippi River is visible in the image. Barlow Bottoms (image right), located in adjacent Kentucky, is a wetland bird-watching location that is replenished by periodic floods and releases of Ohio River water.

Date 12 January 2006
Author ISS Crew Earth Observations experiment and the Image Science & Analysis Group, Johnson Space Centre, NASA
( Reusing this file)

US government, public domain


Public domain This file is in the public domain because it was created by the Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, of the NASA Johnson Space Centre. NASA copyright policy states that "NASA material is not protected by copyright unless noted". ( NASA copyright policy page or Conditions of Use of Astronaut Photographs).

Photo source: ISS012-E-15035.

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