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Spheres of Earth: An Introduction to Making Observations of Earth Using an Earth System's Science Approach. Student GuideScientists from the Image Science and Analysis Laboratory (ISAL) at NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC) work with astronauts onboard the International Space Station (ISS) who take images of Earth. Astronaut photographs, sometimes referred to as Crew Earth Observations, are taken using hand-held digital cameras onboard the ISS. These digital images allow scientists to study our Earth from the unique perspective of space. Astronauts have taken images of Earth since the 1960s. There is a database of over 900,000 astronaut photographs available at http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov . Images are requested by ISAL scientists at JSC and astronauts in space personally frame and acquire them from the Destiny Laboratory or other windows in the ISS. By having astronauts take images, they can specifically frame them according to a given request and need. For example, they can choose to use different lenses to vary the amount of area (field of view) an image will cover. Images can be taken at different times of the day which allows different lighting conditions to bring out or highlight certain features. The viewing angle at which an image is acquired can also be varied to show the same area from different perspectives. Pointing the camera straight down gives you a nadir shot. Pointing the camera at an angle to get a view across an area would be considered an oblique shot. Being able to change these variables makes astronaut photographs a unique and useful data set. Astronaut photographs are taken from the ISS from altitudes of 300 - 400 km (~185 to 250 miles). One of the current cameras being used, the Nikon D3X digital camera, can take images using a 50, 100, 250, 400 or 800mm lens. These different lenses allow for a wider or narrower field of view. The higher the focal length (800mm for example) the narrower the field of view (less area will be covered). Higher focal lengths also show greater detail of the area on the surface being imaged. Scientists from the Image Science and Analysis Laboratory (ISAL) at NASA s Johnson Space Center (JSC) work with astronauts onboard the International Space Station (ISS) who take images of Earth. Astronaut photographs, sometimes referred to as Crew Earth Observations, are taken using hand-held digital cameras onboard the ISS. These digital images allow scientists to study our Earth from the unique perspective of space. Astronauts have taken images of Earth since the 1960s. There is a database of over 900,000 astronaut photographs available at http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov . Images are requested by ISAL scientists at JSC and astronauts in space personally frame and acquire them from the Destiny Laboratory or other windows in the ISS. By having astronauts take images, they can specifically frame them according to a given request and need. For example, they can choose to use different lenses to vary the amount of area (field of view) an image will cover. Images can be taken at different times of the day which allows different lighting conditions to bring out or highlight certain features. The viewing angle at which an image is acquired can also be varied to show the same area from different perspectives. Pointing the camera straight down gives you a nadir shot. Pointing the camera at an angle to get a view across an area would be considered an oblique shot. Being able to change these variables makes astronaut photographs a unique and useful data set. Astronaut photographs are taken from the ISS from altitudes of 300 - 400 km (approx.185 to 250 miles). One of the current cameras being used, the Nikon D3X digital camera, can take images using a 50, 100, 250, 400 or 800mm lens. These different lenses allow for a wider or narrower field of view. The higher the focal length (800mm for example) the narrower the field of view (less area will be covered). Higher focal lengths also show greater detail of the area on the surface being imaged. There are four major systems or spheres of Earth. They are: Atmosphere, Biosphere, Hydrosphe, and Litho/Geosphere.
Document ID
20100017766
Document Type
Book
Authors
Graff, Paige Valderrama (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Baker, Marshalyn (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Graff, Trevor (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Lindgren, Charlie (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Mailhot, Michele (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
McCollum, Tim (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Runco, Susan (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Stefanov, William (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Willis, Kim (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
March 18, 2010
Subject Category
Earth Resources and Remote Sensing
Report/Patent Number
JSC-CN-20043
Meeting Information
National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Conference(Philadelphia, PA)
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Public Use Permitted.

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