MazatlÃ¡n is Mexico's largest port, situated on one of the best estuaries (bottom center of image) on Mexico's Pacific coast. The city appears as a series of light-toned geometric blocks covering the center of this astronaut photograph. The image also shows the docks and naval yards that line the north side of the estuary. MazatlÃ¡n (population 352,000 in 2005) is growing northward from the downtown peninsula, with tourist beaches backed by hotels, and a marina and golf courses just beyond. No city growth yet appears on the south side of the estuary, where narrow rectangles of farm land can be seen.
The famous Faro Lighthouse occupies the top of a steep islandâ€”now connected by a bridge to the mainlandâ€”at the mouth of the estuary (image lower left). The Faro Lighthouse is the second tallest in the world, after Gibraltar's. The wide, straight, almost vertical line of the railroad bisects the city.
This image shows sea features well, primarily ocean swells coming in from the southwest, which appear as a series of parallel lines covering the entire sea surface in this image. The diverse activities that go on in busy urban areas do not always mix easily: an oil slick offshore of the tourist beaches appears as a dark line along the left side of the image.
Astronaut photograph ISS015-E-7934 was acquired on May 13, 2007, by the Expedition 15 crew with a Kodak 760C digital camera fitted with a 400 mm lens setting. The images are provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations experiment and the Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, Johnson Space Center.