Featured Terra Image
Pedro Martin Ureta created a piece of land art so that it could be viewed from an airplane. It turns out that it is visible from space, too.
In the fertile lowland plains of Argentina (the Pampas), a guitar-shaped forest grows amidst the farmland. The project was started in 1979 by Ureta on his farm near the town of Laboulaye, and it has become a wonder for pilots and passengers flying over the region. Together with his children, Ureta created the forest in a tribute to his wife, Graciela, who died during childbirth in 1977. News reports claim that Ureta has never seen his creation from the air, except for photos from friends.
The image above was acquired on November 2, 2007, by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on the Terra satellite. The false-color image was created with red, green, and near-infrared light.
According to news reports, the forest is composed of more than 7,000 cypress and eucalyptus trees. It stretches nearly a kilometer (two-thirds of a mile) across the landscape.
Terra: the EOS Flagship
Terra explores the connections between Earth's atmosphere, land, snow and ice, ocean, and energy balance to understand Earth's climate and climate change and to map the impact of human activity and natural disasters on communities and ecosystems.
Terra collects data about the Earth’s bio-geochemical and energy systems using five sensors that observe the atmosphere, land surface, oceans, snow and ice, and energy budget. Each sensor has unique features that enable scientists to meet a wide range of science objectives. The five Terra onboard sensors are:
- ASTER, or Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer
- CERES, or Clouds and Earth's Radiant Energy System
- MISR, or Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer
- MODIS, or Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer
- MOPITT, or Measurements of Pollution in the Troposphere
Because Terra's five sensors share a platform, they collect complimentary observations of Earth's surface and atmosphere. These varying perspectives of the same event can yield unique insights into the processes that connect Earth's systems.