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June 27, 2011
One of the STS-106 crew members on board the Space Shuttle Atlantis used a handheld 70mm camera to photograph this image of Cairo, Egypt, the largest city in Africa. Its population is nearly 16 million, a figure which translates to approximately 130,000 people per square mile. Metropolitan Cairo shows as a gray area in the green of the Nile River valley at the apex of the Delta. The shadows of the three major pyramids at Giza on the Western edge of the city are visible. They are right below the bright new road construction. This side of the metropolitan area is experiencing rapid growth. According to geologists who have been studying shuttle-to-Earth imagery for many years, this photograph documents some of the many changes in land use in the Western Desert.

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