The Golden Gate of San Francisco Bay is one of the most recognizable straits in the world due to the Golden Gate Bridge that spans it. This high-resolution astronaut photograph is a nearly cloud-free view of the northern part of the San Francisco metropolitan area. Immediately south of the bridge is the Presidio of San Francisco. Immediately north of the bridge is the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The bridge itself appears clearly, with its distinctive twin support towers and orange paint.
Numerous boat wakes of commercial and pleasure craft appear underneath and west of the bridge. The shadow of the bridge’s roadbed appears directly to the west of the bridge itself. Likewise, clouds overhead cast their shadows onto the water’s surface. Regions of greenish-brown water in San Francisco Bay mark water masses with differing amounts of suspended sediment that are streamlined by the strong tidal currents that flow through the strait.
Astronaut photograph ISS013-E-65111 was acquired August 6, 2006, with a Kodak 760C digital camera using an 800 mm lens, and is provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations experiment and the Image Science & Analysis Group, Johnson Space Center. The image in this article has been cropped and enhanced to improve contrast. Lens artifacts have also been removed. The International Space Station Program supports the laboratory to help astronauts take pictures of Earth that will be of the greatest value to scientists and the public, and to make those images freely available on the Internet. Additional images taken by astronauts and cosmonauts can be viewed at the NASA/JSC Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth.
The Golden Gate of San Francisco Bay is one of the most recognizable straits in the world due to the Golden Gate Bridge that spans it. This high-resolution astronaut photograph is a nearly cloud-free view of the northern part of the San Francisco metropolitan area.
Astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) took this photograph of the San Francisco Bay area in April, 2002. The gray urban footprint of San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, and their surrounding suburbs contrast strongly with the green hillsides. Of particular note are the Pacific Ocean water patterns that are highlighted in the sun glint. Sets of internal waves traveling east impinge on the coastline south of San Francisco. At the same time, fresher bay water flows out from the bay beneath the Golden Gate Bridge, creating a large plume traveling westward. Tidal current channels suggest the tidal flow deep in thebay. Because the ISS orbits are not synchronous with the sun, astronauts view the Earth with variable solar illumination angles. This allows them to document phenomena such as the sun reflecting differentially off surface waters in a way that outlines complicated water structures.
his image shows a photograph of San Francisco taken as the International Space Station passed 383 km overhead on November 10, 2000. The view includes the area stretching from the Golden Gate Bridge in the north to the San Mateo Bridge on the southeast.