PIA01306: Space Radar Image of Sunbury, Pennsylvania
 Target Name:  Earth
 Is a satellite of:  Sol (our sun)
 Mission:  Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C/X-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar 
 Spacecraft:  Space Shuttle
 Instrument:  Imaging Radar
 Product Size:  2430 x 3078 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  JPL
 Producer ID:  P45541
 Addition Date:  1998-04-14
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA01306.tif (29.48 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA01306.jpg (2.666 MB)

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Original Caption Released with Image:

Scientists are using this radar image of the area surrounding Sunbury, Pennsylvania to study the geologic structure and land use patterns in the Appalachian Valley and Ridge province. This image was collected on October 6, 1994 by the Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C/ X-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SIR-C/X-SAR) on orbit 102 of the space shuttle Endeavour. The image is centered on latitude 40.85 degrees North latitude and 76.79 degrees West longitude. The area shown is approximately 30.5 km by 38 km. (19 miles by 24 miles). North is towards the upper right of the image. The Valley and Ridge province occurs in the north-central Appalachians, primarily in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. It is an area of adjacent valleys and ridges that formed when the Appalachian mountain were created some 370 to 390 million years ago. During the continental collision that formed the Appalachians, the rocks in this area were pushed from the side and buckled much like a rug when pushed from one end. Subsequent erosion has produced the landscape we see in this image. The more resistant rocks, such as sandstone, form the tops of the ridges which appear as forested greenish areas on this image. The less resistant rocks, such as limestone, form the lower valleys which are cleared land and farm fields and are purple in this image. Smaller rivers and streams in the area flow along the valleys and in places cut across the ridges in "water gaps." In addition to defining the geography of this region, the Valley and Ridge province also provides this area with natural resources. The valleys provide fertile farmland and the folded mountains form natural traps for oil and gas accumulation; coal deposits are also found in the mountains. The colors in the image are assigned to different frequencies and polarizations of the SIR-C radar as follows: red is L-band horizontally transmitted, horizontally received; green is L-band horizontally transmitted, vertically received; blue is C-band horizontally transmitted, horizontally received. The river junction near the top of the image is where the West Branch River flows into the Susquehanna River, which then flows to the south-southwest past the state capitol of Harrisburg, 70 km (43 miles) to the south and not visible in this image. The town of Sunbury is shown along the Susquehanna on the east just to the southeast of the junction with West Branch. Three structures that cross the Susquehanna; the northern and southern of these structures are bridges and middle structure is the Shamokin Dam which confines the Susquehanna just south of the junction with West Branch. The prominent S-shaped mountain ridge in the center of the image is, from north to south, Little Mountain (the top of the S), Line Mountain (the middle of the S), and Mahantango Mountain (the bottom of the S).

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