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Making local sense of food, urban growth, population and energy

The long orange line – India-Pakistan border from space

with 3 comments

This night-time view of the India-Pakistan border was photographed by an Expedition 28 crew member on the International Space Station. Clusters of yellow lights on the Indo-Gangetic Plain of northern India and northern Pakistan reveal numerous cities both large and small.

What the border looks like on the ground – near Jammu, India. Photo: BBC News

Of the many clusters of light, the largest are the metropolitan areas associated with the capital cities of Islamabad, Pakistan in the foreground and New Delhi, India at the top – for scale these metropolitan areas are approximately 700 kilometres apart. The lines of major highways connecting the larger cities also stand out – also visible are Lahore, Pakistan, which is close to the border, and Srinagar, in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, India. More subtle but still visible at night are the general outlines of the towering and partly cloud-covered Himalayan ranges immediately to the north (left).

The full image from the ISS. Photo: NASA

[For other posts on Pakistan see Pakistan, India and people’s responsibility (new), Floods in Pakistan displace 5.4 million and Pakistan floods, six months later.] The striking feature of this photograph is the line of lights, with a distinctly more orange hue, snaking across the central part of the image. It appears to be more continuous and brighter than most highways in the view. This is the fenced and floodlit border zone between the countries of India and Pakistan. The fence is designed to discourage smuggling and arms trafficking between the two countries. A similar fenced zone separates India’s eastern border from Bangladesh.

NASA has said this image was taken with a 16-mm lens, which provides the wide field of view, as the space station was tracking towards the southeast across the subcontinent of India. [NASA ref: ISS028-E-029679 (21 Aug. 2011)]

Written by makanaka

September 9, 2011 at 11:34

3 Responses

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  1. […] @3:47 – You’ll see an orange light snaking across the field of view (thumbnail image on the left). Apparently it’s the fenced and floodlit border zone between India and Pakistan! […]

  2. […] @3:47 – You’ll see an orange light snaking across the field of view (thumbnail image on the left). Apparently it’s the fenced and floodlit border zone between India and Pakistan! […]

  3. […] exactly four years ago, in September 2011, the border between India and Pakistan was photographed by an astr…, one of the few international borders that can be seen from low earth […]


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