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The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth

(NASA Crew Earth Observations)

"We catch a glimpse of a huge swirl of clouds out the window over the middle of the Pacific Ocean, or the boot of Italy jutting down into the Mediterranean, or the brilliant blue coral reefs of the Caribbean strutting their beauty before the stars. And...we experienced those uniquely human qualities: awe, curiosity, wonder, joy, amazement." (Russell L. Schweickart, Apollo Astronaut ("The Home Planet")

Photographing the Earth from the International Space Station

Metadata: LAT and LON fields

LAT stands for latitude. Valid values range in [-90.0,90.0] although the photographs will be virtually all between -60 and 60. This is the latitude of the centerpoint of the photograph. Negative values indicate South of the equator.

LON stands for longitude. Valid values range in [-180.0,180.0]. This is the longitude of the centerpoint of the photograph. Negative values indicate West of the prime meridian.

Determination of center point is done very approximately for the purposes of rapid cataloging: From STS001 through STS078, for example, the accuracy standard for center point was considered +/- 2 degrees. From STS078 through STS096, the standard was +/- 1 degree of latitude and longitude. Beginning with STS093 the data is entered by the cataloger clicking on a map--the accuracy of this click is considered within +/- 1 degree of latitude and longitude. In all cases accuracy will be greater for near vertical photographs than for more oblique photographs, and greater for targets with features that are readily distinguished on the maps. Precision of the center point measurement is 0.5 degrees, in other words, the estimate of center point latitude and longitude is rounded to the nearest 0.5 degree.