This image from NASA's Terra spacecraft shows the Faroe Islands, an archipelago and autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark, comprising 18 major islands.

The Faroe Islands is an archipelago and autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark, comprising 18 major islands. Located 320 km north of Scotland, the islands were first settled in about the 5th century. The population of about 50,000 is almost completely economically dependent on fishing. The islands are entirely volcanic in origin, and were more recently (geologically speaking) sculpted by numerous glaciers, leaving aretes, cirques, and tarns. The image of the northern part of the Islands was acquired June 6, 2007, covers an area of 37 by 38.5 km, and is located at 62.2 degrees north, 6.7 degrees west.

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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