PIA19013: Mt. Kailash, Tibet
 Target Name:  Earth
 Is a satellite of:  Sol (our sun)
 Mission:  Terra
 Spacecraft:  Terra
 Instrument:  ASTER
 Product Size:  1408 x 905 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  JPL
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA19013.tif (3.824 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA19013.jpg (160.4 kB)

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Mt. Kailash is a peak in the Kailas Range in Tibet. It lies near the source of some of the longest Asian rivers: the Brahmaputra, the Sutlej and the Karnali. It is considered sacred in four religions: Bon, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Janism. Every year thousands of pilgrims make a pilgrimage to the mountain, where they circumambulate Mount Kailash on foot, a distance of 52 km. The image was acquired January 20, 2003, and is located at 31.1 degrees north, 81.3 degrees east.

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/.

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