NASA site shows New York disaster images

NASA site shows New York disaster images

True-color image of lower Manhattan showing the smoke plume from the destroyed World Trade Center as it appeared to the Landsat 7 imaging satellite on Sept. 12 at approximately 11:30 a.m. Eastern. Image courtesy of the Geological Survey's Landsat 7 team at the EROS Data Center in Sioux Falls, S.D.

NASA's home page on the Web now shows images of the smoke plume from New York's World Trade Center as it appears from hundreds of miles above the Earth.

The Earth Observatory Terra satellite, an unmanned Earth-observing spacecraft launched in 1999, imaged the New York metropolitan area from high overhead on Sept. 12 in visible and infrared light. The space agency released both false- and true-color images of the smoke from the collapsed 110-story towers.

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., manages Terra. The satellite directly broadcasts raw data to ground stations at Goddard and all over the Earth, Goddard spokesman Mark Hess said.

Terra's orbit is not synchronized with the Earth's rotation, so it passes over all parts of the Earth's surface periodically.

The crew of the International Space Station also saw the aftermath from 250 miles up. Frank Culbertson, commander of the station's current crew, sent video images of the smoke plume back to NASA. Both the Terra and ISS images are on the Web at www.nasa.gov/newsinfo/WTCplume.html.

The Visible Earth Web site, at visibleearth.nasa.gov, includes a more detailed image of lower Manhattan taken by the Geological Survey's Landsat 7 imaging satellite.

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