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NASA photos of the Bahamas from space



Click here to view the full size image Bahama Islands. This beautiful photograph from space shows the contrast between islands, clouds, shallow water and deep water of the Bahamas (25.0N, 76.5E). The Bahama Islands of Nassau (the smaller island) and Eleuthera are at the edge of the Bahama Bank where the water is shallow revealing the bottom in pale blue detail contrasted to the dark depths of the Exuma Sound where the bottom is over a thousand feet deep.
Date Taken: 04/09/83 NASA Photo ID: STS006-45-097

Click here to view the full size image Tongue of the Ocean, Bahamas Archipelago. A portion of the Tongue of the Ocean (24.0N, 77.0W), and the Bahamas Bank, Bahamas Archipelago. The light blue region is the shallow sea bottom where the Bahama Bank is no more than 30 ft. deep. At the contact between light and dark blue, an underwater shear cliff drops over a mile in depth. The wavy lines of various shades of blue are caused by the differential coral growth relative to the warm/cool water transfer in and out of the Tongue.
Date Taken: 11/16/82 NASA Photo ID: STS005-37-839

Click here to view the full size image Tongue of the Ocean, Bahamas. This photo shows the complex bottom topography of the Bahama Banks area(24.0N, 77.0W). The majority of the feature (light blue color), where the tide and current sculpted bottom detail may be seen, is shallow water, generally less than three meters deep. However, the Tongue of the Ocean, Deep blue color, is water over 2,000 meters in depth. Andros Island is the largest island in the photograph.
Date Taken: 08/11/91 NASA Photo ID: STS043-151-106

Click here to view the full size image Bahama Banks, Tongue of the Ocean, Bahamas. Most of the Western Bahama Banks, the Tongue of the Ocean and Andros Island (25.0N, 77.0W) as well as north central Cuba with its fringing reefs can be seen in this one view. The green water over the banks is less than 30 ft. deep but the deep blue of the Tongue is 4000 to 6000 ft. deep. All the sediment on the banks, including the material that forms the islands, is calcium carbonate (lime) precipitated from sea water by animals and plants.
Date Taken: 01/19/93 NASA Photo ID: STS054-152-102

Click here to view the full size image Bahamas. The light blue shallow water platforms of the Bahamas, (24.0N, 77.0W) which are separated by very deep dark blue channels make for a striking scene. In the foreground is Andros Island and in the background are the Tongue of the Ocean, the Exuma Islands, Exuma Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. The Bahamas are one of the few regions where calcium carbonate precipitates directly out of the water, as the mineral aragonite, to form islands.
Date Taken: 11/01/92 NASA Photo ID: STS052-153-102

Click here to view the full size image Most of the Western Bahama Banks, the Tongue of the Ocean and Andros Island (24.0N, 77.0W) as well as north central Cuba with its fringing reefs can be seen in this one view. The green water over the banks is less than 3 meters deep but the dark blue of the Tongue is 2000 meters deep. All the sediment on the banks, including the material that forms the islands, is calcium carbonate precipitated from sea water by animals and plants.
Date Taken: 05/16/92 NASA Photo ID: STS049-99-061

Click here to view the full size image Eleuthera Island, Bahamas seen from STS-66. The striking views provided by the Bahama Islands lend insights into the important problems of limestone (CaCO3) production and transport. This photograph includes the southern part of Eleuthera Island in the northern Bahamas. The hook-shaped island encloses a relatively shallow platform (light blue) which is surrounded by deep water (dark blue). The feathery pattern along the western edge of Eleuthera's platform are sand bars and sand channels created by tidal currents sweeping on and off the platform. The channels serve to funnel large amounts of CaCO3 off the platform and into the deeper water.
Date Taken: 11/14/94 NASA Photo ID: STS066-88-056

Click here to view the full size image Eleuthera Island, Bahamas. Eleuthera Island, (24.5N, 76.0W) Bahamas Island Group, is one of several within the archipelago surrounded by shallow seas, visible here as light blue. Mosaic patterns of sand waves built by sea bottom currents in the shallows stand out in stark contrast to the deep blue of the ocean depths of a thousand feet in the Exuma Sound.
Date Taken: 04/14/81 NASA Photo ID: STS001-12-322

Click here to view the full size image Caicos Islands. Photographed by the crew aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia, this detailed scene of East Caicos Island highlights the shallow tropical waters typical of the Bahamas region. The contrast between the light blue shallow water and dark blue deep water marks a sharp difference (hundreds of meters) in water depth. The shallow marine regions include sand bars and tidal channels (just right of center). The coastline of the island is low and swampy, and is also greatly influenced by the tides. Further offshore, the darker regions in the slightly deeper water mark sea grass and algae beds. This sensitive submarine environment can be mapped from space because the waters are so clear. Chains of clouds forming off islands and headlands, mark the downwind direction.
Date Taken: 10/27/1995 NASA Photo ID: STS073-702-051

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