- Press Release
- Dec 2, 2022
International Space Station Imagery: Cape Farewell, Greenland
ISS017-E-012583 (4 Aug. 2008) — Cape Farewell, Greenland is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 17 crewmember on the International Space Station (ISS). This view illustrates the southernmost tip of Greenland, known as Kap Farvel in Danish and Nunap Isua in Inuit.
The viewing direction is towards the northeast; the image was taken when the space station was located near its most northerly orbital latitude of 52 degrees, off the northern coast of the Island of Newfoundland approximately 1160 kilometers to the southwest. Greenland is the world’s largest island with an area of over 2 million square kilometers; however much of the island is covered by an ice cap that can reach thicknesses of 3 kilometers. The image is highly oblique — taken from an angle looking outwards from the ISS, rather than straight down towards the Earth — and this provides a sense of topography along the southern edge of Greenland.
The exposed dark grey bedrock along the southwestern coastline has been carved by glaciers into numerous fjords — steep-sided valleys that drain directly into the ocean; the white cloud cover surrounding the island doubtless contains some sea ice and icebergs calved from glaciers. A band of high-altitude cirrus clouds (light grey) cast shadows on the lower stratus cloud deck in the lower third of the image. The thin blue layer of Earth’s atmosphere is visible.