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ASTER: Washington, D.C.

The White House, the Jefferson Memorial, and the Washington Monument with its shadow are all visible in this image of Washington, D.C. With its 15-meter spatial resolution, ASTER can see individual buildings. Taken on June 1, 2000, this image covers an area 14 kilometers (8.5 miles) wide and 13.7 kilometers (8.2 miles) long in three bands of the reflected visible and infrared wavelength region. The combination of visible and near infrared bands displays vegetation in red and water in dark grays. The Potomac River flows from the middle left to the bottom center. The large red area west of the river is Arlington National Cemetery.

Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) is one of five Earth-observing instruments launched December 18, 1999, on NASA's Terra satellite. The instrument was built by Japan's Ministry of International Trade and Industry. A joint U.S./Japan science team is responsible for validation and calibration of the instrument and the data products. Dr. Anne Kahle at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, is the U.S. science team leader; Moshe Pniel of JPL is the project manager. ASTER is the only high-resolution imaging sensor on Terra. The primary goal of the ASTER mission is to obtain high-resolution image data in 14 channels over the entire land surface, as well as black and white stereo images. With revisit time of between 4 and 16 days, ASTER will provide the capability for repeat coverage of changing areas on Earth's surface.

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


Published October 6, 2000
Data acquired June 1, 2000

Terra > ASTER
Human Dimensions > Environmental Impacts > Urbanization
Human Dimensions > Infrastructure > Cultural Features
Visible Earth