The Strait of Gibraltar separates Spain from Morocco. This image was acquired on July 5, 2000 by NASA's Terra satellite.
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ASTER Gibraltar

The Strait of Gibraltar separates Spain from Morocco. This image, acquired on July 5, 2000, covers an area 34 kilometers (21 miles) wide and 59 kilometers (37 miles) long in three bands of the reflected visible and infrared wavelength region. The promontory on the eastern side of the conspicuous Spanish port is the Rock of Gibraltar. Once one of the two classical Pillars of Hercules, the Rock was crowned with silver columns by Phoenician mariners to mark the limits of safe navigation for the ancient Mediterranean peoples. The rocky promontory still commands the western entrance to the Mediterranean Sea. The rocky limestone and shale ridge rises abruptly from the sea, to a maximum elevation of 426 meters (1,398 feet). A British colony, Gibraltar occupies a narrow strip of land at the southernmost tip of the Iberian Peninsula. It is separated from the Spanish mainland by a neutral zone contained on a narrow, sandy isthmus. Because of its strategic location and formidable topography, Gibraltar serves mainly as a British fortress. Most of its sparse land is taken up by air and naval installations, and the civilian population is small.

Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) is one of five Earth-observing instruments launched December 18, 1999, on NASA's Terra satellite. The instrument was built by Japan's Ministry of International Trade and Industry. A joint U.S./Japan science team is responsible for validation and calibration of the instrument and the data products. Dr. Anne Kahle at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, is the U.S. science team leader; Moshe Pniel of JPL is the project manager. ASTER is the only high-resolution imaging sensor on Terra. The primary goal of the ASTER mission is to obtain high-resolution image data in 14 channels over the entire land surface, as well as black and white stereo images. With revisit time of between 4 and 16 days, ASTER will provide the capability for repeat coverage of changing areas on Earth's surface. Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) is one of five Earth-observing instruments launched December 18, 1999, on NASA's Terra satellite. The instrument was built by Japan's Ministry of International Trade and Industry. A joint U.S./Japan science team is responsible for validation and calibration of the instrument and the data products. Dr. Anne Kahle at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, is the U.S. science team leader; Moshe Pniel of JPL is the project manager. ASTER is the only high-resolution imaging sensor on Terra. The primary goal of the ASTER mission is to obtain high-resolution image data in 14 channels over the entire land surface, as well as black and white stereo images. With revisit time of between 4 and 16 days, ASTER will provide the capability for repeat coverage of changing areas on Earth's surface.

The broad spectral coverage and high spectral resolution of ASTER will provide scientists in numerous disciplines with critical information for surface mapping and monitoring dynamic conditions and temporal change. Examples of applications include monitoring glacial advances and retreats, potentially active volcanoes, thermal pollution, and coral reef degradation; identifying crop stress; determining cloud morphology and physical properties; evaluating wetlands; mapping surface temperature of soils and geology; and measuring surface heat balance.

Image details

ID#:
PIA02657

Date added:
2000-10-06

Target:
Earth

Mission:
Earth Observing System (EOS)

Spacecraft:
Terra

Instruments:
Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER)

Rating:



Views:
3,669

Full-Res TIFF:
PIA02657.tif (15.58 MB)

Full-Res JPG:
PIA02657.jpg (1.03 MB)

Image credit:
NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team