Tweets clue in astronaut on Tucson's locale
Jan 19, 2013 (The Arizona Daily Star - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
"Tucson" was the answer to astronaut Chris Hadfield's question about the mystery city in Mexico that he photographed this week from the International Space Station.
Hadfield, a Canadian flight engineer scheduled to take command of the space station in March, tweeted a photo from space Thursday, and this message: "I took this colorful picture of a city in Mexico, but I don't recognize which one it is. Do You "
His Twitter followers set him straight, prompting this follow-up post: "Apparently, it wasn't Mexico at all! The picture was of Tucson, Arizona. Hard to always know where on Earth the lens is aimed."
Hadfield, whose regular tweets from space have attracted nearly 200,000 followers and positioned him atop the list for this year's "Science Shorty" awards, continued to chide himself for the initial mistake on Twitter.
When he posted a photo of farming in the river delta in Topolobompo, Mexico, a couple of hours later, he added parenthetically: "(Unless, of course, it also turns out to be Tucson.)"
In the photo, north is to the right. At bottom right, you can see the snow atop the Santa Catalina Mountains. At top right, Interstate 10 and the Santa Cruz River bracket irrigated farm fields. At top left are the mines and tailing ponds west of Green Valley.
Anyone who has ever tried to spot landmarks through an airplane window will probably excuse Hadfield's mistake. Odessa looks like Amarillo from 30,000 feet.
Imagine trying to identify cities from an orbit nearly 250 miles above Earth. Unlike globes and maps, the actual Earth isn't neatly divided into color-coded countries.
TO SEE MORE
-- More of Chris Hadfield's photos at: colchrishadfield.tumblr.com
-- Chris Hadfield's twitter handle is @Cmdr_Hadfield
-- Find more photos of Tucson from space at NASA's "Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth." http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov
Contact reporter Tom Beal at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-4158.
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