NASAs Terra spacecraft shows filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) along the Blue Nile River is well under way near the Ethiopia-Sudan border.

Filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) along the Blue Nile River is well under way near the Ethiopia-Sudan border. For a decade, Egypt and Ethiopia have been at a diplomatic stalemate over the Nile's management. Egypt proposes that Ethiopia should be able to generate hydropower from the GERD while minimizing the harm on downstream communities in Egypt and Sudan. Ethiopia's objective is to assert control over the Blue Nile, the largest tributary of the Nile River. The image was acquired November 6, 2020, covers an area of 32 by 42.9 kilometers, and is located near 11.1 degrees north, 35.2 degrees east.

With its 14 spectral bands from the visible to the thermal infrared wavelength region and its high spatial resolution of about 50 to 300 feet (15 to 90 meters), 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 in Pasadena, Calif. The Terra mission is part of NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington.

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

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