On April 9, 2013 at 11:52 GMT, this image acquired by NASA's Terra spacecraft, shows the location of a magnitude 6.3 earthquake hit southwestern Iran's Bushehr province near the town of Kaki.

On April 9, 2013 at 11:52 GMT, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake hit southwestern Iran's Bushehr province near the town of Kaki. Preliminary information is that several villages have been destroyed and many people have died, as reported by BBC News. This perspective view of the region was acquired Nov. 17, 2012, by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument on NASA's Terra spacecraft. The location of the earthquake's epicenter is marked with a yellow star. Vegetation is displayed in red; the vertical exaggeration of the topography is 2X. The image is centered near 28.5 degrees north latitude, 51.6 degrees east longitude.

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 images Earth to map and monitor the changing surface of our planet. ASTER is one of five Earth-observing instruments launched Dec. 18, 1999, on Terra. The instrument was built by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. A joint U.S./Japan science team is responsible for validation and calibration of the instrument and data products.

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

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, Washington, D.C.

More information about ASTER is available at http://asterweb.jpl.nasa.gov/.

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