A Different View of Mt. Everest

May 09, 2002


Referred by: ISS Expedition 4
Summary authors & editors: Martin Ruzek; International Space Station

Top of the world or the roof of a cave? Astronaut Daniel W. Bursch, flight engineer for Expedition Four aboard the International Space Station, used a digital still camera to capture this image of Mt. Everest (8848 m) in the Himalayan Range. The mountain is near frame center. Here are the notes Bursch added in one of his reports to ground controllers: "One morning I happened to be up early. I glanced at our world map and saw that we’d be passing near Mt Everest soon. I checked the computer, realized that we were in an attitude that would allow me to open the window shutter and there was Mt Everest! It almost seemed to jump out at me. The low sun angle (it was close to orbital sunrise) gave tremendous relief to the mountains. It was just one of those sights that will be forever burned into my brain!"

From Bursch's description and an examination of the shadows, north must be towards the upper left of the image making the prominent peak on the right Cho Polu (6734 m).

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