Newly released images and animation from a trio of NASA spacecraft instruments capture the varied desert-to-mountain landscape and colors of the Salt Lake City, Utah region, home to the 19th Winter Olympic Games, to be held February 8 - 24.
Seen from space, the magnificent grandeur of Salt Lake City and the adjacent Wasatch Mountains takes on varying perspectives and reveals a multitude of information to researchers. The image series includes views from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission and from two instruments on NASA's Terra Earth Observing Spacecraft: the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer and the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (Aster). Included in the Aster images is a 3-D fly-around animation highlighting the location of the various Olympic venues.
The Shuttle Radar Topography Mission was flown aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour February 11-22, 2000. It used modified versions of the same instruments that comprised the Space Shuttle Imaging Radar-C/X-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar that flew twice on Endeavour in 1994. The mission collected 3-D measurements of Earth's land surface using radar interferometry, which compares two radar images taken at slightly different locations to obtain elevation or surface-change information. To collect the data, engineers added a 60-meter (approximately 200-foot) mast, installed additional C-band and X-band antennas, and improved tracking and navigation devices. More information is available at:
The Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer is one of five Earth-observing experiments aboard the Terra satellite, launched in December 1999. The instrument acquires images of Earth at nine angles simultaneously, using nine separate cameras pointed forward, downward and backward along its flight path. The change in reflection at different view angles affords the means to distinguish different types of atmospheric particles, cloud forms and land surface covers. More information is available at:
The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer is another Earth-observing instrument on NASA's Terra satellite. With its 14 spectral bands from the visible to the thermal infrared wavelength region, and its high spatial resolution of 15 to 90 meters (about 50 to 300 feet), Aster will image Earth for the next six years to map and monitor the changing surface of our planet. More information is available at:
NASA's Earth Science Enterprise is a long-term research and technology program designed to examine Earth's land, oceans, atmosphere, ice and life as a total integrated system.
JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.
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