Here’s the view across Scandinavia from my first shuttle mission, STS-59. North is at upper right. We’re looking west past Denmark at lower left, Sweden at center and right, and the snow-capped mountains of Norway at top center. At lower left, Copenhagen, Denmark, lies across the strait from Malmo, Sweden (just north of that little T-shaped peninsula off Sweden’s southern tip). That’s Oland island at right off Sweden’s eastern coast. At center left is the Kattegat, the enclosed sea between Denmark’s Jutland peninsula and Sweden. The Skagerrak is the strait, top left, winding between Jutland and Norway, and feeding into the Kattegat. At top, we can clearly see the snow line as spring advances southward. This is about as far north as our orbit (57-degree inclination to the equator) would carry us. This view brings a geography textbook–or Google Maps–to life!
NASA Image Caption:
Southern Sweden, with its plethora of lakes, is visible in this west-looking, high-oblique photograph. The lakes were created when the continental glaciers scoured this area and then receded, allowing the countless depressions to fill with water. In addition to numerous smaller lakes that are generally aligned in a north-south orientation, two large lakes—larger Lake Vänern and Lake Vättern—can be seen toward the northern edge of the photograph. The dark green area inland from the coast is forested lands. A small part of the Baltic Sea is pictured off the southeast coast of Sweden, and the Skagerrak and Kattegat, the waterway entrance into the Baltic Sea, are shown off the southwest coast of Sweden. Although no specific details can be ascertained at this scale, the four main landforms of Denmark (viewing west to east)—a peninsula (Jylland) and three islands (Fyn, Sjelland, and Lolland)—can be seen along the southern edge of the photograph. (STS059-223-065)