Pleasure boats have plenty of room to navigate on a calm weekday shortly before Memorial Day. It
will be a very different picture in two weeks, after the traditional start of the summer tourist season.
When enlarged, the details in this 12MP digital image are not as crisp as some, but it gives parts of the photograph the look of a moody painting.
This photo was taken by an astronaut aboard the International Space Station during Expedition 23 in the spring of 2010. It’s one of several that were taken within about 30 seconds, with the sun reflecting off the nearby Chain of Lakes and Grand Traverse Bay. Watch this blog for additional entries in the (eventually) nine-photo Sundance on Blue Water series.
The Space Station must have been almost directly over the bottom edge of the picture when this photo was snapped, with the camera tilted slightly north of straight down. The difference in angular velocity would account for the progressive motion blur that becomes evident near the bottom of the cropped photo, while the center and top are unsmeared.
The effect is even more pronounced at the bottom-left of the uncropped photo.
The blur-angle hints that the ISS was moving in a northeast direction; when it flies over the Great Lakes it always orbits northeast or southeast. When the ground below is zipping past at five miles per second, and the entire photo is only about six miles across, motion blur is hard to avoid.
If you stand the right distance from a large print, so that it fills your field of vision, the gradually increasing smear can produce an interesting 3D/vertigo effect.
Original (raw) image courtesy of the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center.
Sundance on Blue Water: Charlevoix