December 10, 2009
Photographer: Alicia Joseph
Summary Author: Alicia Joseph; Jim Foster
The top photo shows a view of Table Mountain, taken from near its base, just outside Cape Town, South Africa. Cape Town has one of the most impressive backdrops of any major coastal city in the world. The bottom photo shows a view from the mountain’s tabular top in the direction of Cape Town and the South Atlantic Ocean. This uniquely shaped and easily recognizable landmark is composed of quartzitic sandstone and looms more than 3,500 ft (1,067 m) above the city. Just below the horizontal sandstone strata is a layer of readily weathered micaceous shale. In 1834, Sir John Herschel estimated the albedo of the Moon, as it rose above Table Mountain, by comparing it to the brightness of the mountain itself. Photo taken in July of 2009.
Table Mountain coordinates: S33.957314, E18.403108