PIA16894: Shark Bay, Australia
Target Name: Earth
Is a satellite of: Sol (our sun)
Mission: Terra
Spacecraft: Terra
Instrument: ASTER
Product Size: 2931 x 3045 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: JPL
Full-Res TIFF: PIA16894.tif (26.79 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA16894.jpg (1.144 MB)

Click on the image above to download a moderately sized image in JPEG format (possibly reduced in size from original)

Original Caption Released with Image:

Hamelin Pool Marine Nature Reserve is located in the Shark Bay World Heritage Site in Western Australia. It is one of the very few places in the world where living stromatolites can be found. These are the first living examples of structures built by cyanobacteria. These bacteria are direct descendants of the oldest form of photosynthetic life on earth, dating back 3,500 million years (Wikipedia). The image was acquired December 30, 2010, covers an area of 34 x 46 km, and is located at 26.4 degrees south latitude, 114.1 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/.

Image Credit:
NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team

Image Addition Date:
2013-03-15