March 16, 2011
Click on the image for larger view
Torrential monsoon rains in south Asia have displaced residents in India, Pakistan and Thailand. In southeast Pakistan, hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to leave their homes as flood waters inundated villages and fields. On Sept. 24, 2011, the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument on NASA's Terra spacecraft captured this image of the city of Jhudo, Pakistan, and surrounding countryside. Vegetation is displayed in red, water is dark blue, clouds are white, and cities are gray. A companion image was captured on March 16, 2011, and shows the area during the dry season. The images cover an area of 16.7 by 18.3 miles (27 by 29.6 kilometers) and are located at 25 degrees north latitude, 69.3 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/.