Wallpaper Wednesday

22 06 2011
Barringer Meteorite Crater

Barringer Meteorite Crater. Photo credit: NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team

Today’s wallpaper comes to us courtesy of ASTER (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer), an imaging instrument  that makes up part of the satellite Terra.  Terra was launched in December 1999 as part of NASA’s EOS (Earth Observing System). If you’re wondering why the photo of Barringer Crater looks so strange, it’s because you’re looking at a 3D perspective view created by superimposing an ASTER bands 3-2-1 image over a digital elevation model from the US Geological Survey National Elevation Dataset. This composite image is a decade old now, but ASTER is still going strong, as is evidenced by the data it sends back to earth showing some of our planet’s natural hazards, including debris from the March 2011 tsunami in Japan.