- Original Caption Released with Image:
This space radar image shows the rugged topography of Santa Cruz Island, part of the Channel Islands National Park in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Santa Barbara and Ventura, Calif. Santa Cruz, the largest island of the national park, is host to hundreds of species of plants, animals and birds, at least eight of which are known nowhere else in the world. The island is bisected by the Santa Cruz Island fault, which appears as a prominent line running from the upper left to the lower right in this image. The fault is part of the Transverse Range fault system, which extends eastward from this area across Los Angeles to near Palm Springs, Calif. Color variations in this image are related to the different types of vegetation and soils at the surface. For example, grass-covered coastal lowlands appear gold, while chaparral and other scrub areas appear pink and blue.
The image is 35 kilometers by 32 kilometers (22 miles by 20 miles) and is centered at 33.8 degrees north latitude, 119.6 degrees west longitude. North is toward upper right. The colors are assigned to different radar frequencies and polarizations as follows: red is L-band, horizontally transmitted and received; green is C-band, horizontally transmitted and received; and blue is C-band, horizontally transmitted and vertically received.
The image was acquired by the Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C/X-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SIR-C/X-SAR) on October 10, 1994, onboard the space shuttle Endeavour. SIR-C/X-SAR, a joint mission of the German, Italian and United States space agencies, is part of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth program.
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