Perspective View with Radar Image Overlaid, Color as Height: Mount Fuji and Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, located on the island of Honshu, is Japans capital and most populous city. In this perspective view generated using data from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM), Tokyo appears as the large, bright area in the foreground. The metropolitan area is home to one-fourth of Japans 127 million people. First known as Edo, the now bustling metropolis first began to flourish in 1603 when a Shogunate (a region under the jurisdiction of a military leader) was established there. Like all of Japans major cities it is located in the flat, coastal areas of this mostly rugged and mountainous country. The mountain peak in the background is the 3,776-meter (12,388-feet) high Mt. Fuji. A world-famous stratovolcano, Fuji is still considered active despite not having had an eruption in almost 300 years. In this image, elevations are represented by color; height increases from white to green to brown. For visualization purposes, topographic heights displayed in this image are exaggerated two times. Other SRTM views of Mt. Fuji and Tokyo can be seen in PIA02791 and PIA02793. The elevation data used in this image was acquired by SRTM aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour, launched on February 11, 2000. SRTM used the same radar instrument that comprised the Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C/X-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SIR-C/X-SAR) that flew twice on Endeavour in 1994. SRTM was designed to collect three-dimensional measurements of Earths land surface. To collect the 3-D SRTM data, engineers added a mast 60 meters (about 200 feet) long, installed additional C-band and X-band antennas, and improved tracking and navigation devices. The mission is a cooperative project between the NASA, the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) of the U.S. Department of Defense, and the German and Italian space agencies. It is managed by NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif, for NASAs Earth Science Enterprise, Washington, D.C. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Location (Tokyo): 35.40 deg. North lat., 139.45 East lon. View: Toward the West Date Acquired: February 21, 2000 SRTM
Solar Towers near Seville 2009
In a patchwork of agricultural fields outside Seville, Spain, two otherworldly towers rise above the plain. Nearby arrays of mirrors reflect light onto the towers, illuminating the water vapor and dust suspended in the air and creating visible beams. Within the towers, the thermal energy from the concentrated light creates steam, and the steam powers turbines to generate electricity. Known as PS10 and PS20, the mirror-tower networks are part of a larger project intended to meet the energy needs of some 180,000 homes—roughly the energy needs of Seville—by 2013, without greenhouse gas emissions.
The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this false-color image of PS10 and PS20 on August 29, 2009. Red indicates vegetation, shades of brown indicate bare ground and/or fallow fields, and blue indicates water. Human-made structures appear in shades of blue-gray. PS10 and PS20 appear as approximate circles punctuated by towers on their southern ends. Although less conspicuous than the circular arrays, rectangular arrays of mirrors operate south of the towers.
The mirrored heliostats that make up the arrays track the Sun’s position throughout the day and send concentrated energy to the nearby towers. A BBC correspondent who ascended PS10 in the spring of 2007 recorded sauna-like temperatures and searing ladder rungs near the tower’s top, and a mirror-illuminated glow to the entire area. PS20 began operating two years later.
As this image shows, the network for PS20 is larger than that for PS10. The tower sizes and energy capacities differ as well. Reaching a height of 115 meters (approximately 380 feet), PS10 is powered by 624 heliostats. Reaching a height of 165 meters (approximately 540 feet), PS20 is powered by 1,255 mirrored heliostats. PS20 was designed to produce twice the energy of its smaller, 11-megawatt neighbor. The towers both produced more energy than expected during trial tests. Although not the world’s first power towers, PS10 and PS20 became the first project executed on such a large scale.
Carbon Monoxide from Biomass Burning
This pair of images shows levels of carbon monoxide at the atmospheric pressure level of 700 millibars (roughly 12,000 feet in altitude) over the continent of South America, as observed by the Measurements Of Pollution In The Troposphere (MOPITT) sensor flying aboard NASAs Terra spacecraft. Data for producing the image on the left were acquired on March 3, 2000, and for the image on the right on September 7, 2000. Blue pixels show low values, yellows show intermediate values, and the red to pink and then white pixels are progressively higher values. In the lefthand image (March 3), notice the fairly low levels of carbon monoxide over the entire continent. The slightly higher equatorial values are the result of burning emissions in sub-Saharan Africa that are convected at the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) and spread by the trade winds. Also, notice the effect of the elevated surface topography across the Andes Mountains running north to south along the western coastline. (In this region, white pixels show no data.) In the righthand image (September 7), a large carbon monoxide plume is seen over Brazil, produced primarily by biomass burning across Amazonia and lofted into the atmosphere by strong cloud convection. The generally higher carbon monoxide levels as compared to March are both the result of South American fire emissions and the transport of carbon monoxide across the Atlantic Ocean from widespread biomass burning over Southern Africa. These images were produced using MOPITT data, which are currently being validated. These data were assimilated into an atmospheric chemical transport model using wind vectors provided by the National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP). Although there is good confidence in the relative seasonal values and geographic variation measured by MOPITT, that team anticipates their level of confidence will improve further with ongoing intensive validation campaigns and comparisons with in situ and ground-based spectroscopic measurements.
Source: Images courtesy David Edwards and John Gille, MOPITT Science Team, NCAR
Road expansion in the Community of Madrid
Louisiana Black and White Outline Map, United States