This spaceborne radar image from NASA's Spaceborne Imaging Radar C/X-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar shows the famous 'hook' of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The Cape, which juts out into the Atlantic Ocean southeast of Boston.

This spaceborne radar image shows the famous "hook" of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The Cape, which juts out into the Atlantic Ocean about 100 kilometers (62 miles) southeast of Boston, actually consists of sandy debris left behind by the great continental ice sheets when they last retreated from southern New England about 20,000 years ago. Today's landscape consists of sandy forests, fields of scrub oak and other bushes and grasses, salt marshes, freshwater ponds, as well as the famous beaches and sand dunes. In this image, thickly forested areas appear green, marshes are dark blue, ponds and sandy areas are black, and developed areas are mostly pink. The dark L-shape in the lower center is the airport runways in Hyannis, the Cape's largest town. The dark X-shape left of the center is Otis Air Force Base. The Cape Cod Canal, above and left of center, connects Buzzards Bay on the left with Cape Cod Bay on the right. The northern tip of the island of Martha's Vineyard is seen in the lower left. The tip of the Cape, in the upper right, includes the community of Provincetown, which appears pink, and the protected National Seashore areas of sand dunes that parallel the Atlantic coast east of Provincetown. Scientists are using radar images like this one to study delicate coastal environments and the effects of human activities on the ecosystem and landscape.

This image was acquired by Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C/X-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SIR-C/X-SAR) onboard the space shuttle Endeavour on April 15, 1994. The image is 81.7 kilometers by 43.1 kilometers (50.7 miles by 26.7 miles) and is centered at 41.8 degrees north latitude, 70.3 degrees west longitude. North is toward the upper right. The colors are assigned to different radar frequencies and polarizations of the radar as follows: red is L-band, horizontally transmitted and received; green is C-band, horizontally transmitted, vertically received; and blue is C-band, horizontally transmitted and received. SIR-C/X-SAR, a joint mission of the German, Italian and United States space agencies, is part of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth program.

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