The Nardò Ring is a striking visual feature from space, and astronauts have photographed it several times. The Ring is a race car test track; it is 12.5 kilometers long and steeply banked to reduce the amount of active steering needed by drivers. The Nardò Ring lies in a remote area on the heel of Italy's "boot," 50 kilometers east of the naval port of Taranto. The Ring encompasses a number of active (green) and fallow (brown to dark brown) agricultural fields. In this zone of intensive agriculture, farmers gain access to their fields through the Ring via a series of underpasses. Winding features within the southern section of the Ring appear to be smaller, unused race tracks.
The image covers an area of 18.8 x 16.4 km, was acquired on August 17. 2007, and is located at 49.3 degrees north latitude, 17.8 degrees east longitude.
The U.S. science team is located at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. The Terra mission is part of NASA's Science Mission Directorate.