The left image of this pair was acquired by Multi-angle Imaging
Spectroradiometers (MISR's) nadir camera on
August 17, 2000. Toward the top, and nestled
between the Coast Range and the Sierra Nevadas, are the green fields of
the Sacramento Valley. The city of Sacramento is the grayish area near
the right-hand side of the image. Further south, San Francisco and other
cities of the Bay Area are visible.
On the right is a zoomed-in view of the area outlined by the yellow
polygon. It highlights the southern end of San Francisco Bay, and was
acquired by MISRs airborne counterpart, AirMISR, during an engineering
check-out flight on August 25, 1997. AirMISR flies aboard a NASA ER-2
high-altitude aircraft and contains a single camera that rotates to
different view angles. When this image was acquired, the AirMISR camera
was pointed 70 degrees forward of the vertical. Colorful tidal flats are
visible in both the AirMISR and MISR imagery.
Image Courtesy NASA/GSFC/JPL, MISR and AirMISR Teams
Astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) took this photograph of the San Francisco Bay area in April, 2002. The gray urban footprint of San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, and their surrounding suburbs contrast strongly with the green hillsides. Of particular note are the Pacific Ocean water patterns that are highlighted in the sun glint. Sets of internal waves traveling east impinge on the coastline south of San Francisco. At the same time, fresher bay water flows out from the bay beneath the Golden Gate Bridge, creating a large plume traveling westward. Tidal current channels suggest the tidal flow deep in thebay. Because the ISS orbits are not synchronous with the sun, astronauts view the Earth with variable solar illumination angles. This allows them to document phenomena such as the sun reflecting differentially off surface waters in a way that outlines complicated water structures.