La Chaux-de-Fonds is a Swiss city in the Jura Mountains, founded in 1656. Its growth and prosperity are mainly due to the watch making industry. Completely destroyed by fire in 1794, La Chaux-de-Fonds was rebuilt along an open-ended scheme of parallel strips on which residentiaol housing and workshops intermingle, reflecting the need of the watch-making culture. The town is the home of famous watchmaking manufacturers including Cartier, Movado, Breitling TAG Heuer, Louis Vitton, and Corum. La Chaux-de-Fonds and the nearby town of Le Locle are bothe listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites. The image was acquired on July 15, 2007, covers an area of 10.6 x 11.7 km, and is located near 47.1 degrees north latitude, 6.8 degrees east longitude.
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/.