Photos from the ISS for the migratory routes of birds

Photos from the ISS for the migratory routes of birds

Among the countless projects hosted in over twenty years of activity by the International Space Station there is also the one called AMASS (Avian Migration Aerial Surface Space) to which NASA is dedicating an in-depth study on its official website this week. This is an initiative aimed at studying the migratory routes of birds through the analysis of photographs taken by astronauts.

The AMASS project: Avian Migration Aerial Surface Space

The focus is on particular on species at risk of extinction and on how their movements between the different areas of the planet have been affected over time by the direct or indirect intervention of the human factor. To better understand what it is, we report below in translated form the words of David Saint-Jacques who took part in it during his time on board the ISS.

It has always been one of my passions to observe the Earth from space. Since birds are impacted by what we do to the planet, it has been a fantastic way for me to give my observations of the Earth purpose. Seeing the extent of migrations from space, imagining birds covering those incredible distances, caused me awe.

The acquisition of images represents a considerable challenge, first of all because conducted aboard an orbiting station traveling at over 7 kilometers per second and over 400 kilometers above the ground. First of all, you need the right equipment and you need to know what to frame.

The results can be viewed on an interactive map hosted by the Canadian government's institutional website. The AMASS project is carried out by NASA in collaboration with CSA (the Canadian space agency) and with the support of the Roberta Bondar Foundation (Roberta Bondar was the first Canadian woman engaged in a space mission, in 1992).

Source: NASA
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