Archive: Den Helder, Netherlands (NASA, International Space Station, 05/01/07)
Editor's note: happy Earth Day to all! There will be so many wonderful Earth images around today...I thought I'd visit the archives and see what buried treasure might be found. There are so many that it's hard to choose!
(From 2007) Den Helder, Netherlands is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 15 crewmember on the International Space Station. The city and harbor of Den Helder in the northern Netherlands has been the home port of the Dutch Royal Navy for over 175 years. Its favorable location provides access to the North Sea, and has made it an important commercial shipping port in addition to its strategic role. Bright red agricultural fields to the south of Den Helder indicate another noteworthy aspect of the region--commercial farming of tulips and hyacinth. This image is an oblique view--the camera is oriented at an angle relative to "straight down"--of the Den Helder region taken from the space station, which was located to the southeast, near Dulmen, Germany (approximately 225 kilometers away in terms of ground distance) when the image was acquired. In addition to the manmade structures of the Den Helder urban area (reddish gray to gray street grids) and dockyards to the east of the city, several striking geomorphic features are visible. The extensive gray mudflats, with their prominent branching pattern (top right), indicate that this image was acquired at low tide, and suggest the general low elevation of the region. Parallel wave patterns along the mudflats and in the Marsdiep strait are formed as water interacts with the sea bottom between Den Helder and Texel Island during tidal flow. Some ship wakes are also visible. According to scientists, the bright white-gray triangular region at the southern tip of Texel Island (bottom center) is a dune field, consisting mainly of eolian (windborne) sands deposited during the last ice age. Subsequent sea level rise and shoreline processes have mobilized and re-deposited these sands into their current configuration -- including a new dune field island to the southwest of Texel (bottom center).
About Crew Earth Observations:
In Crew Earth Observations (CEO), crewmembers on the International Space Station (ISS) photograph the Earth from their unique point of view located 200 miles above the surface. Photographs record how the planet is changing over time, from human-caused changes like urban growth and reservoir construction, to natural dynamic events such as hurricanes, floods and volcanic eruptions. A major emphasis of CEO is to monitor disaster response events in support of the International Disaster Charter (IDC). CEO imagery provides researchers on Earth with key data to understand the planet from the perspective of the ISS. Crewmembers have been photographing Earth from space since the early Mercury missions beginning in 1961. The continuous images taken from the ISS ensure this record remains unbroken.
Image credit: NASA
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